Posts Tagged ‘auto-save’

RE: 12 Ways Consoles Are Hurting PC Gaming

A story caught my eye recently.  A title that had me showing my O face before I even read the the full story.  However,  I always try to come across as a critic no matter the situation.  In this article, I will go through all the “ways” this article details and give my thoughts on each.  Ready?  here we go!

Delayed/Glitchy Ports

I would say they are about 60% right.  While I do see the glitchy ports……alot.  I do not see many delayed ports.  Even if a port has been delayed, I would hope its for the good reason of working out more bugs.  For this reason, I would rather see a port for my platform delayed than released on launch day only to be unplayable.

Delayed aside, glitchy ports do plague the PC world.  The biggest example recently would have to be Homefront.  A good game that gives the average FPS person a break from the monstrosity CoD or EA’s own fuckup Bad Company.  It gives a dev console, dedicated servers (although dedicated servers tools still need to be released), and a break from ridiculous melee kills.  However, there is always a badside.  The dev console literally does nothing, no matter what you type into it (it may be only used for server admins).  Servers will just randomly drop players or just quit altogether during or after a match.  The friends tab, where you should be able to join a server that a friend is in, does not work at all.  This forced my friends to call out IP addresses to join eachother, now if only the game allowed you to see the IP addresses while playing in the server -_-;.  Even the server browser has issues pulling up the hundreds of servers.  The game will only pull up servers when it feels like it.  I imagine

I imagine all these problems are not true for the 360 port.  Leave a comment if this is not true.

Another big example was Dead Space 1.  To keep this short, the glitches were so bad, I died more because of them than I did by the enemy’s hand/claw.

Dumbed-Down Sequels

IMHO, ME2 was dumb-downed.  I like my crapload of items and pondering whether or not to switch to different armor or weapon sets.  There is a bit of an argument to be made about DA2 though. (Disclamer: I only played the beta, not the full game, at the time of writing)  With DA:O, the gameplay was very much geared towards keyboard and mouse.  The micromanaging was almost akin to a mini RTS in how much you would need consider.  With DA2, it has been simplified to a point where consoles can now have an easier time.  However,  the gameplay allows the PC port to hang on to the complexities that were their in the original.

Overall, I think this one is more of a stab at greedy companies trying to push hasty sequels (*cough* Activision *cough*).  I think this can hurt everyone, although the 360 less because more games are optimized towards that platform.

The Future Isn’t Now

This is the one that I most disagree with.  There is a reason that stigma of “PC Gaming costs much more than a console” has lasted for so long.  Its because the PC game is always evolving graphically, unlike the console game that can only evolve every 4-8 years.  However, with graphics hitting a peak, and lighting now evolved to a point where realism has been realized, there is not much more room to evolve.  The next evolution is ray tracing (which right now, requires 24 servers computing at once to achieve 60fps).  Needless to say, this will not be used for awhile.

I would have to turn this around and say the past is now.  I know its arrogant to keep looking to the past, but hear me out.  There was one evolution in PC gaming that I still herald to this day.  When CoD2 came out for PC, it allowed one to use DirectX7 or DirectX9.  This made about a 50fps difference at the time.  To be able to use older DX level and still enjoy your game made CoD2 all the much more enjoyable and playable.  Now games are starting to use this switch off for DX9,10,11.  However,  the difference is more whether its playable vs. unplayable.

No, the future isn’t now, but it won’t be for quite awhile still.  For now, we can optimize what we have even more to make this platform more accessible.

Lousy Interfaces/Controls

I can attest to this point on many occasions.  The biggest example off the top of my head being Bioshock.  The PC controls were so loose that it would force me to use a controller.  However, this was because of poor pointer acceleration.  This is again a testament to poor quality control in ports.  Just mapping support for keyboard and mouse is not enough.  This is like mapping controls for a racing game to only respond digitally instead of analog (full acceleration or no acceleration).  Not having a mouse pointer for menu screens or being able to remap controls also!?  Like the article mentions, its 2011.  PC gaming is not defined by just mouse/keyboard support and being able to change the graphics.

There Is No Mod

One wonders how much mileage one can get from a game.  When game developers are now releasing less and less maps (and more P2P DLC), I would like to ask you, how much have you spent on one game?  How many times has there been a glitch in a game that the whole community hates but the developer ignores?  With modding support, the community can help themselves.  Whether its newer/better maps, or even an unofficial patch to help gamers who still play the game (Vampire the Masquerade, a horribly glitchy game, saw MANY unofficial patches to help).

Granted, something community driven can fragment the community.  You like to only play surfing maps, others like to only play Aim maps, the other only will play zombie maps.  Where one sees fragmentation, I see variety.  Lets face it, there should always be regular maps and types being played, why not spice things up a bit.  If the first time you played a zombie map was in CoD:WaW, or black ops, then you are sorely missing out.

The Great Divide

Again, this seems more of a wild stab than staying on target.  People will always argue why halo is better than half-life, or why PC gamers would kick the ass of console players head to head.  He makes the best point of, its always about having fun.  When you are not having fun, you are no longer gaming.


Again, one I do have to disagree with.  This would have be a product of, again, lazy developers who do not thoughtfully map out auto save points.  Everyone reading has had to been through an experience where you get so far in the game only to die because of something random, only to see that the last time you saved was about 45+ minutes ago.  I have gotten so immersed into situations that the last thing on my mind was to save.  With auto-save, it keeps me from having to break the immersion.

Auto-saving does have its follies.  Sometimes that 45+ minutes was because there was no save point for a long time.  Sometimes the auto save comes right after a horrible mistake.  However, if thought out, the auto save can present challenges that would not otherwise present itself with quick save.  Maybe going through a full challenge that might take 10 minutes.  If you mess up, you start over.  It does prolong the frustration, but it presents a unique mindset of fear that puts you “in the moment”.  You start sweating as the in-game character would,  except its not about saving the world, its about saving the next 9 minutes of your life.

Games For Windows

Nothing to say here.  He makes the point, and I agree.  GFW has not been needed in PC gaming nor will it ever be.

Making Us Hate Our Favorite Developers

Now, to clarify more for the writer of the article.  We (PC Gamers) do not hate our favorite developers because they switched to console.  We hate them because they act like they care about the community (which, if true, MW2 would never have seen the light of day on PC.  Same goes for my argument about whether there truly is a god, but that is for another day).  For the rest, he couldn’t make it any better.  No demo, outsourced port, glitches, and delays.  That I can deal with, but the lie tops the chart.

Kinecting The Dots

As a short response, wait for the market to grow cold.  The kinect will recognize its true potential soon.

Non-Existent Post-Release Support

This can depend on your version of “support” after release.  Does the developer release patches post release?….yes.  Does the developer ignore problems the community brings up?…yes.  For the record, provided DLC is NOT considering post-release support.  That is only providing an expansion pack.  As much as people blew up the cheater fiasco for MW2, I have to sort of sympathize with the devil on this one.  IW was in a bad place, the CoD series was being raped more than the Guitar Hero series (although they thankfully stopped for now), and employees were bleeding out.  However, it doesn’t excuse Black Ops.

PS: Remember the time when patches actually brought along free maps…good times, good times.

Dead-icated Servers

Tis a sad day when things like “Dedicated Servers” is being promoted on the box.  I do have to disagree with Bad Company 2.  Although it does technically have dedicated servers, you can not create your own without shelling out cash to rent one.  It still missed the point and got famous for people turning a blind eye.  I could go on with this point, but lets be blunt.  Dedicated servers are being labeled as old technology….I agree.  But until we get something better, they will always be the best form of MP gaming.  Embrace it, make it evolve.  You can integrate matchmaking into dedicated servers (America’s Army already provides level blocks for servers.  Want a noob friendly friendly server, you got it.)

There are many other arguments to be had here.  Many points in this article do apply and I can only hope some developers get a hold of it.  I like to think that I don’t ask for much, but when you have scraped away so much and start hitting the basics of what makes a PC game, it becomes painful to watch.

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