Thursday, November 11, 2010

Sometimes I wish I was a Console Gamer

I love being a PC gamer. The number of reasons why PC gaming is superb is more than just a handful, as opposed to what console gamers might suggest. Mouse and keyboard support is the most precise control on any system. The ability to switch DPI on the fly for sniping is invaluable. An analog stick on a controller just doesn’t match. High resolutions and true HD gaming are a standard for the PC. While consoles of this generation are just now approaching 1080p, resolutions of 1280x1024 and higher have been a staple of PC gaming since the early 2000s. The fact that resolutions range as high as 2560x1440 nowadays shows how far ahead PC gaming is in terms of computing power and graphics. The modding community is a strong sub-culture in PC gaming. Fans of many games have taken their existing architecture and used them to create new maps, weapons, items, or entire new games. Counter-Strike originally started as a mod for Half-Life, and it grew into a full fledge title. The number of mods that can be found for Unreal, Quake, Half-Life, Left 4 Dead, StarCraft, Fallout, and many more games show that while the shelf-life of a title is finite, the modding community can extend it’s prevalence to near infinite.

There are many other reasons why PC gaming is better, but for all the positives that we get, there are negatives as well. Case in point, Call of Duty: Black Ops. The biggest, most anticipated game of 2010. As of this morning, 5.6 million copies were sold between the US and UK on Tuesday, November 9, the day the game was released. It is the biggest entertainment launch in history. Compared to last year’s Modern Warfare 2, Black Ops sold 900,000 more copies in first day sales, generating a total of $360 million in 24 hours. The game is ranging from 80% to 100% on reviews, but this is for the console version, which most of the reviews of the game were done on. Here is a review for the PC version of Call of Duty: Black Ops. Normally I’m not one for Destructoid’s reviews. They seem to review games lower than they actually are for the niche, “Let’s stick it to the man and go against the grain,” demographic. However, for the PC version, they seem to have got it right. Keep in mind though, the last paragraph that reads, “Once the multiplayer is fixed, feel free to pop at least two more points, most likely even three, into this review's score. I can only review what I've got in front of me, however, and what I've got is a superb game that has pissed all over itself.” There are also reports of black screens when launching either singleplayer or multiplayer. I’ve experienced this one personally, so while the game been out since Tuesday, I’ve yet to play a single second of it because it doesn’t actually start.

These are the times where I wish I was a console gamer. Where I could trade in my versatility of having a higher resolution or the ability to mod, for stability and the notion that games will work the way they are supposed to. I don’t think I’d trade in my ability to use a mouse and keyboard, or if I did, it would be the last thing I would trade. I grew up using mouse and keyboard, and like an elderly person who refuses to embrace technology, I am stubborn and refuse to learn how to play a first-person shooter with an analog joystick (and the auto-aim feature that usually comes with it).

At this point, Treyarch is aware of the issues and though they haven’t released any information about a patch, it’s almost guaranteed that one is coming. So in addition to all the reasons I listed above of why PC gaming is great, learning to have patience is the newest.

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