I come from the latter group of people, I don’t care if I’m playing a full HD game on a massive TV or some Super Mario on an ancient Gameboy. My problem is that one of my favourite platforms is being ruined, and to me it’s all because of the following five points.
1. Poor Ports
It’s a sad fact that these days PC games are now, for the most part, ports of the console versions. Unfortunately they are not always good ports, and more often than should be accepted, they turn out to be pretty dire. Dark Souls being the most recent port to be hounded with problems. It’s not the only big name title to get the poor port treatment with GTA IV, Dead Space, Saints Row 2 and Assassin’s Creed all getting ripped to shreds by angry and frustrated players.
Most of the big games companies today started out developing their titles for the PC, but with the focus shifting onto the consoles, developers are concentrating on the little box 10-year-old Timmy can easily set up without Mum and Dad, leaving the poor PC out in the cold.
Yes, before you shoot straight down to the comments and leave your many insults, I know that the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360, along with the Nintendo Wii are prone to piracy. The fact of the matter is though, piracy is just easier to accomplish on a PC.
More often than not it’s a simple case of going to a well known torrent sharing website, searching for the game you want to download, downloading the game, follow the instructions and you are now playing a game that somebody else has had to pay for.
At least for a console, you wont get little Timmy and his happy gang going through the process of downloading an Xbox 360 game and burning it to a disk. Don’t forget he also needs to modify his console, not something the average 10-year-old can accomplish.*
Of course there are going to be those who do go through the process needed to pirate a game for a console, but the fact it’s so much easier on the PC is one of the reasons developers and publishers alike are treating the PC like a ginger step child.
Which brings me on to my next point…
DRM (Digital Rights Management) is possibly the number one reason I have been put off playing games on my laptop. The idea behind the concept is all good, put in the DRM’s to prevent pirating, reducing the number of times the game is pirated and therefore making the game makers the money they should rightfully be receiving.
Except it works less than a council estate scumbag. Just look how many games are actually being pirated. Literally every single game available that has DRM protections has been pirated. In the end, the DRM’s end up punishing the people who paid the money to play the game. I’ve experienced this frustration first hand with Assassin’s Creed II. Ubisoft implemented a feature to the game that required that you must always be online to play the game. This might not sound completely unreasonable, but although it is 2012 there are still people out there who don’t have internet access. Yes the numbers are few, but those people shouldn’t be punished when they haven’t even got the capability to pirate the damn game.
My own experience with Assassin’s Creed II’s DRM is one that caused me to fling the disk from my balcony and never bother again. I travel a fair bit, and as a result I sometimes end up at a hotel that doesn’t provide WiFi, or if they do it’s £5 an hour (damn you Travelodge!) and I’m not shelling out that much just to play my own game.
You may not find yourself in the same position as me, but what if you lose internet for a few days? Pretty much buggered if you play all your games on the PC. Of course there are other things to do, like read a book, look out the window and image what the sun would feel like on your skin, but if you pay for a product then you should be able to use it whenever you like.
4. Controls Are Just Not Easy
For the life of me I cannot play using a keyboard or mouse. Yes, go ahead and lay your best insults in the comments, I accept I probably deserve them.
I really can’t shake the feeling that my fingers are playing twister and my mouse is a nervous wreck, shaking at the slightest movement I make. It’s not just me, I know there are many others out there who can’t get our infantile minds around the concept of using a keyboard to move and a mouse to point. Luckily there are other options, suck as using your Xbox 360 controller or Playstation 3 controller, or just any controller that is compatible with your computer. It seems it should be a standard, but unfortunately, it’s not.
Take Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 for example, no gamepad support. I was thoroughly shocked and a little amused when I put my disc into the laptop and got into the menus and discovered that I am stuffed unless I can learn to play with the keyboard and mouse. The most baffling thing is, Black Ops and Black Ops 2 support the option, why not Modern Warfare 3?
It’s an odd thing to leave out, something that could potential pull in a few more sales. It can’t be that hard to implement it either.
Speaking of implementing, or whatever…
5. Computers Are A Pain In The Arse
I’m not going to lie, you open a computer and put it in front of me then do the same with the beans, I can tell you more how the beans work than the computer does. Simply put, I know nothing about the insides of a computer. I know there’s a fan in there somewhere, only because I can hear the little bastard spinning every waking hour of my day.
Point is, if something goes wrong, I’m stuffed. It’s not just me, it’s the countless other buffoons who can turn on the computer and make it do flashy things, but the second it rebels, we crumble like a fallen dictator. It ends up being an expensive trip to the computer shop to get it fixed, something that in the end would probably be cheaper to fix myself, if I knew what a GPU was.
That’s not all. With each and every game having specific requirements it’s often a lucky dip as to what can be played. I can play Assassin’s Creed (the first one, number II is in some French street) but I’m buggered if I dare try to play Splinter Cell. I put Black Ops 2 in my machine, everything’s fine. I put Battlefield 3 in, the laptop has a spaz attack.
There’s so many different graphics cards, processors, GPU’s, CPU’s, that when I look at the back of the box and peek down to the system requirements, I just say “fuck it” and take it anyway. A simplified method would be much appreciated, but I don’t think we’ll see one.
Of course you are going to disagree with at least one of the above, maybe even all of the above, or maybe you are just like me and you agree with all of the points.
Whatever side of the line you stand on, there has to be a common concern amongst those of us who enjoy a bit of gaming on our PC’s. laptops and Mac’s, consoles are the priority for the time being.
Check back tomorrow (24/11/2012, or if you are from the US of A, 11/24/12) for the counter article, ‘5 Reasons PC Gaming Is Better Than Consoles.’
What do you think? Valid points or the ramblings of a mad man? Are there any points I missed out? Go ahead and put your mark in the comments below, and don’t forget to insult me for not being able to use a keyboard or mouse. Best insult wins a special prize!