Tag Archives: PC Games

Will Discord and Twitch Succeed Where Origin and UPlay Failed?

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I had a blog post about Discord and its competition with Steam (along with other PC gaming services) ready to go that I’d written on Tuesday… and then on Thursday Discord went and announced it’s actually going to sell games.

Back in 2014 I did a post comparing Origin and UPlay to Steam, primarily through why each PC game launcher was created in the first place, and how that affected the current status of each one. Steam started as a way to facilitate the installing and patching of games, Origin as EA’s personal game launcher, and UPlay as Ubisoft’s customer loyalty program. To this day, people primarily install Origin and UPlay just to boot up EA’s and Ubisoft’s games respectively. That in itself is fine. Blizzard’s Battle.net gets away with it, Fortnite gets away with it, Minecraft gets away with it. Those services juts aren’t ever going to come close to competing with Steam.

Discord found another way to get onto millions of computers: as a chat app and a universal game launcher. Continue reading

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Late to the Party: Kingdom Come Deliverance

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This past week I finished the main story of Kingdom Come Deliverance from Warhorse studios and found it pretty absorbing, but I also think it absolutely isn’t a game for everyone. It’s structurally very similar to Skyrim but Warhorse didn’t make it for anywhere close as mainstream an audience.

Probably the most important distinction which does the most to set Kingdom Come apart and might be a main reason I enjoyed it so much is that, well… it’s a detective adventure game. Continue reading

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Multiplatform Gaming Is Coming Down To Switch or PC

 

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Lumines Remastered probably couldn’t have come out at a better time for me — going live less than 24 hours before I had to take a road trip. You might be thinking I bought the game on the Nintendo Switch, but right now basically all my purchases of multiplatform games are still going to PC. Still, every single new release starts a new internal struggle the likes of which I’ve never really experienced before. Continue reading

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Arma 3 “Tanks”: More Toys In The Sandbox

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Arma 3’s final expansion, “Tanks,” came out last week and I was able to check it out for a bit. I don’t think anyone else outside hardcore military simulation fans are talking about it so I thought I’d go into it a bit here. Despite my 450+ hours on the game, I definitely wouldn’t say I’m “in deep” with the MilSim crowd.

I remember seeing videos of some other hardcore tank simulator, but I have no idea how Arma 3’s “Tanks” compares to a single-purpose simulator like that. I imagine it’s not as in-depth since it’s a combined-arms game with a far broader spread of gameplay from on-foot to vehicles to aircraft. That being said, what’s in “Tanks” is still somewhat bewildering to someone like me. Continue reading

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“Games as a Service” In Itself Isn’t A Problem

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As the debate goes on over loot boxes, microtransactions, and the general strategy of “Games as a Service” that the gaming industry is employing, I’ve started to ask myself: “what is actually working?” This brought up an important distinction to make, that making games serviced-based in itself isn’t the real problem some are complaining about, it’s how those services are monetized. Continue reading

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Crysis After 10 Years: The Future Of Shooters That Never Was

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The original Crysis turned 10 this week and every article I’ve seen observing this event has been a return to the “Can it run Crysis?” meme, perpetuating the myth that the game was only ever about its graphics. Crysis remains one of my favorite modern first person shooters for a very important reason, and this week I went back through it (or at least the good parts) one more time, trying the highest difficulty setting for the first time. Continue reading

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The Video Game Photographers I’ve Been Following

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I’ve tried to pitch this as an article for a while now but ultimately just decided to write it here: a list of everyone whose “video game photography” I’ve been following.

Maybe you’ve heard of Dead End Thrills, the site run by Duncan Harris, who became known for creating beautiful high resolution screenshots of games using mods. This photography-style approach to games has been catching on for years now. It’s gotten big enough that Nvidia built its “Ansel” tools to facilitate high resolution screenshots for supporting games, and an increasing number of console games are offering photo modes. Finding more and more people into this sort of thing became a hobby of mine. It’s been a main source of my wallpapers.

Mostly I’ve been finding them in Flickr accounts. From what I can tell most people have slept on Flicker at least since Yahoo took it over in favor of Instagram or Tumblr. In that time, Flickr has become popular with photographers, among them “video game photographers.” Some of these same people also regularly post their work in NeoGAF’s PC screenshot thread.

To download these from Flickr you need a Yahoo account — and it’s actually pretty much the sole reason I have a Yahoo account. Be sure to check out the photostreams, as some of these accounts don’t put all their pictures into albums. Continue reading

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Steam Review-Bombing: Tech Companies’ Regulation With Tools Instead of Humans

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The brouhaha over how Valve has chosen to handle review-bombing on Steam looks like just another chapter in how tech companies are trying to solve human problems without humans.

I’m going to talk about Valve specifically in this post, but there are similarities to how people have reacted to chosen solutions for harassment from companies like Twitter or YouTube. All of them try to solve these problems with new tweaks, features, or AI to try to guide how people use their services. Continue reading

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Selective Game Installs Coming To Consoles. Finally.

DJozG7BXgAAZ85sIt looks like console gaming is finally starting to utilize compartmentalized game installations upon figuring out everybody can’t install or download 80-plus gigabyte games. Bethesda confirmed the newly-announced Nintendo Switch version of DOOM will come on a physical game card that will only contain the main campaign, with the multiplayer being an optional download that can’t fit on the card. Microsoft also just started talking about how future game installs on Xbox will let players be selective about what parts of a game they want to install — choosing between textures, game modes, and audio languages, in order to save hard drive space and internet data.

Frankly Microsoft should have been doing this long ago, and Bethesda should allow this for every version of DOOM. Some PC games have been doing something like this for a while (for decades actually if you wanna get really technical). For the most part though until now console games that install to the hard drive have just been installing everything. Continue reading

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Dynamic Recon Ops: Big Expansion And Big “Sequel” Mod

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I let Arma 3 back into my life despite knowing how much time it would suck away from other games like Zelda Breath of the Wild. I figured I’d almost never get the chance to go back to it if I always put newer games in front of it. Bohemia Interactive also just added a new map — “Malden 2035” that’s apparently a remake of a map from the original Operation Flashpoint. Then you’ve got that new free game Argo that’s based on the systems of Arma.

My current favorite mod, “Dynamic Recon Ops,” from modder Mark “mbrdmn” Boardman has been getting significant updates in the months since I took a break from it, and I guess it’s time to talk a little bit about them. Continue reading

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