Abyssal Pixels: Venturing Into The Dark Pit Of PC Gaming
Yes, there are more relevant topics that I could have discussed in my column. Stuff like Early Access games, Nintendo failing, the faltering state of the gaming industry as it is now, the significance of certain people in the industry, AAA development being broken and just a myriad other more “relevant” topics. But this week I would like to talk about something I’ve been doing for the past few months and that’s doing a bit of PC gaming. I wrote an exclusive last week about broadening your gaming horizons and I’ve done so by going to a platform I only vaguely experienced in the past and discovered some interesting things along the way.
As most of you know, I’m an exclusive console gamer with my most played platform being the Xbox 360. I’ve never really deterred from my platform of choice during the “late stages” of my gaming career except for maybe mobile games and 3DS games. With the launch of the new consoles and the usual January dry-period, new AAA games have been remarkably scarce and that’s usually the games I play on my Xbox with the odd arcade title here and there. One day I was bored and decided to pirate Papers, Please (I’m sorry Lucas Pope, I’ll buy it on Steam soon) because I heard from various sources that it was a fantastic game. With it only being 30mb and my laptop being able to run it without problem, I decided to give it a shot. What followed was an addiction to this game where I stayed up until early morning checking papers and looking at penises.
- You’ll Be Able To Play (Expensive) PS2 Games On Your PS4 Now | 2 months ago
- Jessica Jones Disempowers Its Male Characters And The Effect Is Refreshing | 2 months ago
- Hell Is 30 000 Deathclaws Tearing Through Boston And It’s Glorious | 2 months ago
- Sony Santa Monica Is Teasing Something Truly Strange | 2 months ago
With my laptop conveniently being on my bed thus making playing a game much simpler than starting up the Xbox, slogging all my stuff to the couch and then waiting for everything to sign in, I said “fuck it” and downloaded Steam. Mostly because I’m that unbelievably lazy that I didn’t want to walk maybe 5 meters and wait about 10 minutes. So there I was, staring at the Steam store page. Of course, I didn’t consider buying a Steam Wallet voucher just yet because this was just an experimental venture, so the only games that were available to me were free-to-play games. Path of Exile looked like a good choice because I’ve heard good things so I decided to download that.
After waiting a while for the download to finish, I started it up and it surprisingly ran quite well on my laptop with textures not looking like arse and at a solid 60 fps. My laptop isn’t that bad with 6gb RAM, a 2GB integrated graphics card (which I know is actually crap) and an Intel i5. It won’t run Witcher 2 on ultra anytime soon, that’s for damn sure, but it can potentially run a good amount of games on either low or medium settings. After playing Path of Exile for a while, I downloaded Warframe because it looked rather fun. Once again, it worked alright on my laptop after some tweaking. I then got into that for a while where I played the game for a few hours every day.
With the newfound knowledge that I can actually play games on the laptop that I only used for typing and watching German fetish porn, I decided to venture a little deeper. I was lucky to get into Steam during the Winter Sale and I saw The Stanley Parable for $8.99 and decided that I just had to have it. One Steam voucher later and I was the proud owner of my very own game on Steam. I’m now part of the Master Race (not really, though). It ran well on my laptop and it was one of the most interesting games I’ve played in a long, long time. I’m sincerely glad that I decided to give PC gaming a shot even just to get the opportunity to play this game.
Being the obsessive gamer that I am, I wanted more. Unfortunately I didn’t have the money to buy all the cool stuff that I was seeing on the Steam Store which made me rather sad. Enter Steam Family Sharing. I got access to our very own Azhar‘s Steam library which was populated with so many great games, both indie and AAA. Now there were tons of games available to me that I wouldn’t have otherwise and, needless to say, I went to town on them. I played PC exclusives such as Gone Home, Outlast and No Time To Explain. All of which I enjoyed immensely. But I needed more.
Then one day I got messaged by our occasional guest and friend to the site Domzor, offering me the use of his 250 games strong Steam library. Naturally, I accepted his offer. So many games that I could play laid before me that it wasn’t even funny. I then went to town on his list as well as playing games such as Hotline Miami, Super Meat Boy (which I then bought for my Xbox because it was fantastic), Civilization V, Thomas Was Alone, Hard Reset and a bunch of other random indie games. I also got hold of a Hearthstone beta key and being an avid watcher of TotalBiscuit’s ongoing series of the game, I already knew the fundamentals of the game and was itching to give it a go. So I played that for quite a few hours. I even managed to pull a legendary on my second pack.
After playing these games for a while I came to the realization that I’ve missed out on so many amazing experiences just because I didn’t want to do PC gaming. Most of the games that I managed to play were absolutely amazing and if it wasn’t for one afternoon of boredom, I never would have experienced them. I was always quite hesitant to venture into PC gaming for a few reasons which I will highlight for you now.
Firstly, the Master Race. I’ve had this hatred for PC gamers for a while now because they would constantly berate me for not being on their “superior platform”. This royally pissed me off because I couldn’t care less about their superior graphics and massive frames per second capabilities. I only cared about good games and I got that just fine on my Xbox. Most PC gamers that I’ve came in contact with over the internet were pompous assclowns whose only aim was to belittle me for being a console peasant. This bullying happened so much that I developed a distaste for PC gaming altogether. I didn’t want to hear about PC gaming and I generally avoided anything related to the platform.
Obviously, not all PC gamers are like this. These guys I’m talking about are actually just the vocal minority. I suspect most PC gamers are more like me that just play games for the sake of playing games and don’t really care about all the irrelevent stuff in the background. Some are passionate about their PC’s specs and also love to play good games which is great. But the vocal minority has still managed to make me hate PC gaming for seemingly no reason other than some idiots being elitist douchebags.
Oh how I wish I could have just ignored them and gave it a shot. I would have so much happier as a gamer. I still don’t understand why these people are acting like this, however. With my brief venture into PC gaming, I could see that it isn’t as extravagant as most PC gamers make it out to be. Now I just see it as another platform that I can possibly use to play more great games. The only real difference between it and my Xbox is that I have to set the graphics to low and play a visually inferior game. I still get to play the game and that’s all that I care about. Sure, it would be nice to have a double Titan behemoth with 32gb RAM and its own pipe system just to keep it cool. I would love to be able to play games on their full potential, but the fact of the matter is, I can’t. I just have to make due with what I have. Better textures and 120fps wouldn’t have made The Stanley Parable any more funnier and amazing than it was when I played it on my crappy laptop.
Secondly, the uncertainty. I was PC gamer quite a few years ago and the thing that always plagued my experience was the constant crashing and insufficient specifications. For the longest time I was always hesitant to buy PC games because of these issues, but with my recent usage of Steam, this isn’t really a problem for me anymore. Updates are smooth, downloads are smooth and there’s always enough information for me to gauge if my laptop could run a specific game, which it usually does. I haven’t had any glaring issues with any of the games that I played and for the most part everything ran like they should. Steam is really a great service if you have the broadband to support it.
I’m still a console gamer through and through, but I can see PC gaming potentially becoming a big part of my gaming life. The possibility exists for me to save up and build a decent PC, but that’s far into the future when I actually earn some form of income. For the time being I will continue playing amazing indie titles and PC exclusives on my crappy laptop, which is more than enough for me. PC gaming is great and I’m sad that I didn’t realise this sooner. It doesn’t matter which platform you’re playing on or how detailed your shadows are, if you’re playing good games then you’re playing good games and nobody can fault you for that.