By Atlas 12 Comments
So I've been playing PC games for over ten years. Well, when I say playing PC games, it's usually only one game that occupies me at any one time, and I had no concept of the rich technicalities of the platform. My first PC love was SimCity 2000, a true classic in my mind. This was followed by a game I still rank among my top five games of all-time; Age of Empires II: Age of Kings. Now because I was such a PC dumbass, I never explored the multiplayer aspect of the game, but still played that damn game for at least 250 hours. My next love was The Sims, another greatly addictive experience. Next up was the original Splinter Cell. Ubisoft aren't known for being a PC heavy developer (in recent times they've become a villanous figure for the PC community thanks to their DRM bullocks), but Splinter Cell was a great experience on the PC. Next was another game I still hold up as one of the greatest games I've ever played, the truly transcendent Half-Life 2, my first experience of first person shooters the way they were "supposed" to be played. Another landmark experience followed with my immersion into the world of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, I game I still regard as my favourite of all-time. Of course being a PC-tard, I never dabbled into the wonderfully strange world of the mod community.
A completely different landmark moment occured in 2007 with the purchase of my third laptop, a Dell XPS designed very much for playing high end games. For a few months, I played Oblivion on my laptop and loved it. Then two instances broke my heart and dashed my appreciation of the PC as a platform. First, there was the complete headache that was trying to get The Witcher to run properly on my PC. Again, not a tech expert, so had no clue that this game was problematic even for people who were savvy. The second was a game that three years later is still a benchmark for PC graphics; Crysis. I honestly thought that this behemoth of a game would work fine on my laptop, bought it and was very quickly crushed to find out I had to choose between stellar graphics moving at seconds per frame, or a silky smooth running game that would have been deemed ugly in 2001. I was so disillutioned that I turned my back on the PC and in late 2007 I bought my Xbox 360, my first current gen console. I did play some PC games during my so called PC "dark age", including old favourites like Roller Coaster Tycoon, an update of an old favourite The Sims 2, and engaging new experiences like Torchlight.
So fast forward to the past few months. It's been a really shitty year for me and making bad financial decisions. I bought a PS3 back in early summer, despite having 360 games I'd yet to play (Condemned 2, Red Faction Guerrilla, Arkham Asylum etc.). Not long after, despite having so many games I haven't played, I started to contemplate building a strong gaming PC. You can date my fascination with the PC back to late 2009, when I played Dragon Age: Origins on the console and loved the hell out of it, but still felt annoyed by people raving about the superior PC version. I was sort of fascinated by the buzz surrounding StarCraft II, but the straw that broke the camel's back was Civilization 5. I played a little of Civ 4 on my father's PC and in recent months have been completely addicted to Civ Rev on my DS, and so really wanted to play a ton of Civ 5. And so, after negotiating with my mother, Dell and myself, I eventually bit the bullet.
I now have a high-end powerful PC, with 8GB of RAM, an nVidia GeForce GTX 460 graphics card, an i7 Intel processor and 1TB of harddisk space (laptop had 160GB, now I have 1TB. That's a lot more bytes). I've been messing around a lot with PC stuff for the past week or so, and have decided that I want to chronicle my PC adventures in blog form. So join me in my strange journey of wonder and mystery as I try to work out exactly how everything works, just how much power I have at my fingertips, and whether I can really become "that PC guy". Will this leviathan eat me up, chew me out and send me running back to my consoles, or will I start abandoning my gamepads in favour of my new romance?
My first act has already occured. I started a thread in the PC forum asking for general advice and recommendations for programs and games people consider essential to the PC experience. I got a lot of good feedback to work with, and I'm starting to feel really good about the future me and my PC will share. Always good to have the GB community helping me with my complete fucking technological ineptitude.
Next time on The Adventures of a New PC Owner - The Joys and Terrors of Steam