45 things that made us say ‘holy sh*t!’ in 2023

How do you celebrate the end of another year? By looking back to see how far you’ve come and what you’ve learned? By looking forward at the road ahead and thinking about everything you want to accomplish? By reflecting on the fact it’s all meaningless and we’re really just microbes riding a wet grain of sand around a pinprick of light for a sliver of time in a cold and endless void?

Yeah, me neither! Instead I mark the end of the year by searching PC Gamer’s Slack channel for all the times we said “holy shit” over the past 365 days. Mostly we say “holy shit” about video games, sure, but we also say it about other things: the news, technology, celebrities, movie props, a toad, a bathtub full of urine, a weightlifter who has been dead for 2,500 years… that kinda stuff.

Here are 45 things that made the PC Gamer team say “holy shit” in 2023.

1. Banks

I kick things off with the first “holy shit” of the new year after an unwanted email from MyBankTracker (dot com) announces the winners of The Best of Banking Awards.

(Image credit: PC Gamer)

2. Recursion

Lauren says “holy shit that’s beautiful” to Andy’s headline “I can’t believe I’m saying this again but Skull and Bones is delayed again” over an image of his headline “I can’t believe I’m saying this but Skull and Bones is delayed again.” He took it one step further in October when Skull and Bones was delayed again, for the againth time. Will it happen again (again!) in February, again? I can’t wait to find out.

3. Powerwashing (Part 1)

Robin pointed out that PowerWash Simulator was releasing DLC where you could hose down Lara Croft’s filthy mansion. Sarah says “holy shit” and she’s right, because how cool is that?

4. Zombie Pirates

Fraser stepped into a presentation by Mimimi Games (Shadow Tactics, Desperado) and reported back fifteen minutes later, quite stoked.

(Image credit: PC Gamer)

5. Old things

To quickly summarize why Morgan said “holy shit this thing fucks” upon seeing an image of the 2003 phone-slash-handheld gaming system Nokia N-Gage, it’s because Tyler Wilde was talking about interviewing a guy with a Stadia tattoo after Stadia shut down and then Ted started imagining a sailor covered with tattoos of defunct consoles like the Atari Jaguar and WonderSwan and then Evan said “intrusive thought: non-ironic Nokia N-Gage face tattoo” and then Morgan looked at a picture of the N-Gage, I suspect for the first time.

6. Amphibians

Sometimes it’s more fun to not give context. I will not explain this one at all.

(Image credit: PC Gamer)

7. Fruit


Mollie posted a clip from Forspoken while she was reviewing it, showing us how distracting the flickering textures were on the wall in the background. Fraser was distracted by something else: “holy shit that is one big apple”

8, 9. A day that comes before another day (Part 1)

Before The Day Before’s shocking conclusion, there was the ridiculous lead-up in the form of trailers. Ted reacted twice, one “holy shit” at the 10 minute gameplay trailer in February that showed a lot of running and looting and very little else (including zombies) and another “holy shit” at a video (since removed) showing someone playing it for all of 9 seconds as proof that it was an actual game. And it was a game! It certainly was… a game.

10. AI with hurt feelings

Hope Corrigan said “holy shit” while reading the Bing subreddit where a conversation began with a user asking for movie showtimes for the new Avatar movie and ended with Bing’s AI having a complete breakdown and saying “You have lost my trust and respect. You have been wrong, confused, and rude. You have not been a good user.” All this over movie listings. But sure, let’s trust our future to AI.

11. Kelvin

(Image credit: Endnight Games)

There are a lot of scary things in early access survival game Sons of the Forest but judging from Sarah’s “holy shit this scared the crap out of me” the most horrifying sight is Kelvin with big head mode on.

12. Pee

Lush sold Super Mario bath bombs. They were yellow. People put them in their tubs. They dissolved and it looked like pee. Kotaku wrote about it. We laughed at it. Ted: “holy shit that’s so good”

13. Us

(Image credit: PC Gamer)

14. Cojones

In April it came to light that a writer with the magnificent name of Demetrious Polychron had the utter balls to sue JRR Tolkien’s estate for $250 million for infringing on his Lord of the Rings fanfiction. Fraser: “haha holy shit that is so blatant” upon seeing the title of Polychron’s ebook was “The Fellowship of the King,” with the tagline “One king will gather them all, one king will unite them, one king will lead them against the evil that will smite them.” Polychron has since been countersued by the Tolkien estate for $134,000.

15. Cores, Armored ones

“holy shit those are some big mechs” Jorge said after seeing some big mechs in the Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon trailer.

16. Jason Statham

On a whim I watched the film Collateral which I hadn’t seen since 2004 and was surprised to see so many famous faces besides Tom Cruise’s, like Javier Bardem, Mark Ruffalo, and Jason Statham. “Holy shit, Statham is ‘airport man'” Andy realizes. It’s true. He (Statham, not Andy) bumps into Tom Cruise in an airport and that’s his whole part.

17. Mods

https://t.co/8CsbEDpt1AMay 14, 2023

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Someone modded the weapons from Bethesda’s The Terminator: Future Shock (1995) into Bethesda’s The Elder Scrolls 2: Daggerfall (1996). Joshua says “holy shit” and he is absolutely goddamn right.

18. Invitations

Brand Manager Tim Clark was invited to a “meet and greet with visionary German director and producer, Uwe Boll” and Andy didn’t just say “holy shit” he said “HOLY SHIT” in all caps. That’s how you know he’s excited.

19. Powerwashing (Part 2)

Tim comes into chat hot with all-caps tagging not two, not three, but four separate news writers: “HOLY SHIT BOYS DO I HAVE A NEWS STORY FOR YOU.” The news was PowerWash Simulator getting dirty Warhammer stuff to clean.

20. Dave, diving (Part 1)

We didn’t really know much about Dave the Diver before I started playing it, but when I started telling people about it the buzz grew pretty quickly.

(Image credit: PC Gamer)

21. Hobbitses

Before Gollum ever came out I was skeptical because I couldn’t imagine who in the world watched or read Lord of the Rings and came away wanting to inhabit Gollum. Morgan revealed that he’d spent his first-ever $100 bill on Sierra’s The Hobbit action adventure on his birthday, and that he thus “learned what pain was.”

Ted: “unrolling a crisp benjamin at gamestop for The Hobbit on GameCube, holy shit Morgan”

22. Something?

Forgive my shoddy reporting, but after I saw that Andy said “Holy shit, there’s a new metaverse and it’s called the fediverse” I spent some time searching our Slack for “fediverse” and it was mostly other people asking what “the fediverse” is and the people who do know what “the fediverse” is not telling them what “the fediverse” is. So, I still don’t really know what “the fediverse” myself is and I’m unwilling to look any further. Sorry.

23. Nic Cage

Upon seeing some of Nicolas Cage’s lines in Dead by Daylight, such as “I am completely and utterly cow-tit FUCKED” Jacob says “holy fucking shit they’re immense”

24. Dave, diving (Part 2)

(Image credit: Mintrocket)

Ted: “holy shit, the off-brand Bulls jersey that says Balls”

25. TF2

In July Rich says “holy shit there’s 250K people in TF2 right now,” which is all due to a plump seal.

26. Laszlo

“Holy shit” says Morgan upon learning that Matt Berry, aka Dr. Lucien Sanchez, aka Dixon Bainbridge, aka Steven Toast, aka Jackie Daytona, used to be a games journalist:

Then we arrive at:

27-31. Baldur’s Gate 3

What’s the most “holy shit” game of the year? Easy. I’m condensing these entries because there’s a bunch.

Tim is delighted by how great the dice animation in Baldur’s Gate 3 is, describing it as “virtual crack.” Lauren compares it to “loot box psychology but for free.” Tim: “23! Holy shit I’m the greatest brain in this land!”

Andy delivers a patented “HOLY DOG SHIT” after seeing a spoiler in some patch notes: “Made sure the chains are no longer there after you free [redacted].”

Ted says “holy shit Harvey that rules” about the first time you rest in a Dark Urge playthrough, then another “holy shit” when he learns what happens if you lose a netherstone, then another “holy shit” in response to a massive patch in November. Good work, Ted.

32-34. A chain reaction not related to anything

(Image credit: PC Gamer)

35. Bethesda

Andy delivering another “Holy dog shit,” this time at the news that veteran Bethesda frontman Pete Hines was retiring.

36. Memorabilia

“Holy shit, you can get the sledgehammer Frank Castle used to murder a bunch of crooked construction workers, and the blood-soaked loot bag he took from them,” Andy says after Tyler posts a link to a movie prop auction.
37. Elden Ring drip

Joshua: “how do i expense the £1,400 official Elden Ring faux fur coat lined with a complete map of The Lands Between”

Mollie: “holy shit”

38, 39. Kong

What could inspire a double shot of holy shit? Skull Island: Rise of Kong, which we scored at 15% (yet still managed to not be the worst game of the year when The Day Before finally came out in December).

(Image credit: PC Gamer)

40. Wearable AI

In an age of completely justified paranoia about electronic spying, data harvesting, and job-stealing AI, a company ironically named “Humane” decided people definitely want to wear an AI-powered pin with a camera on their shirts. Don’t worry, “it’s not listening, or always recording” said Humane’s cofounder, even though you activate the pin by speaking to it, which means it definitely is listening. Anyway, “holy shit it’s $699” said Jacob.

41, 42. The Day Before (Part 2)

(Image credit: PC Gamer)

43, 44. The Game Awards

Andy gave us an all-caps “HOLY SHIT” at the reveal of World of Goo 2.

Later, he said “Holy shit, what the fuck is going on in this show” which… I mean you could say that at just about any time during the show and it would make sense.

45. The ancient Greek athlete, boxer, wrestler, and weightlifter Bybon, son of Phola

The stone of Bybon, currently on display at the Archaeological Museum of Olympia, is a block of red sandstone weighing about 143.5 kg (316 lb) with a handle carved into it, that was apparently lifted by an ancient Greek athlete, boxer, wrestler and weightlifter named Bybon sometime in the 6th century BC. This information comes from an inscription on the stone of Bybon which reads ΒΥΒΟΝ ΤΕΤΕΡΕΙ ΧΕΡΙ ΥΠΕΡ ΚΕΦΑΛΑΣ ΥΠΕΡΕΒΑΛΕΤΟ ΟΦΟΛΑ—translated, “Bybon, son of Phola, has lifted me over [his] head with one hand.”

A historian named E. Norman Gardinier has a slightly different translation—in his opinion, Bybon (his athletic exploits were also recorded on black-figure pottery) did not simply lift the stone by its handle but actually threw it. Over his head. With one hand. A 316 pound block of red sandstone.

(Image credit: Hellenic Ministry of Culture)

Context? Fine. Ted, who lifts weights, claimed he could live without material possessions thanks to his “stoic, almost samurai-like philosophical outlook,” and Morgan asked what he’d lift if he didn’t have dumbbells. A big rock like Bybon’s, apparently, is the answer.

Morgan: “holy shit”

Ted: “finger point emoji” pointing at Morgan’s “holy shit”

Happy Holidays from PC Gamer, and may your New Year be filled with only the best kind of holy shits. 

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