Friday, January 2, 2009

Getting Back into PC Gaming?

I've all but sworn off PC gaming forever. Well, not really. I always liked the notion of gaming on my PC, but since I haven't had any money in the past four years I figured the notion of having a PC powerful enough to play anything more demanding than Solitaire was out of the question.

I have a history of PC gaming, most notably a two year Everquest addiction that left me in a pasty vampiric state and I had been so isolated that my friends had actually forgot who I was. I spent a similar stint on WoW, but since it was so recent my sponsor says I shouldn't talk about it.

A few years ago I invested in an Xbox 360 with the little expendable income I had. After all, most of the games I felt like I was missing on the PC (The Orange Box) were cross-platform and I'd have to sell a kidney to get a PS3, and if I was going that far I would have just upgraded my tower.

As the years went on and I spent more and more time on Xbox LIVE, I found my social skills waning. My brow extended, I started growing hair in odd places and I found myself calling random objects "fags" right before teabagging them. I had willingly degenerated into a console fanboy, which I still am to this day, but last night I saw a revelation.

For Christmas this year I received a new laptop. My folks basically took pity on me since my old one was so bad its frame rate actually dropped when using Microsoft Word. So I decided to put this new, sexy machine to the test and I logged on to EA's Crysis homepage to see if my machine could handle what is easily the benchmark in punishing system requirements.

After running a quick diagnostic, the laptop actually passed! I took the hour and a half to download and install the demo and was quickly whisked away to a tropical island in a really bad ass suit of power armor. Okay, I know this game is old news at this point, but from the perspective of a console-tard, I was blown away.

Well, not at first. I was impressed by the visuals but I hated the controls. What PC gamers boast as "precision" felt (to me) like a clumsy system. Well, it turns out that those were just my growing pains. After all, when you've been crawling for so many years you have to relearn to walk.

After about an hour of getting shot up and failing miserably, I finally found my stride and realized that Crysis was best played if you ignored the Halo-style Rambo instinct and actually thought out situations before barrelling in balls first. I had completely forgotten that tactics actually existed in first person shooters special thanks to my limited outings in shooters comprised entirely of Left 4 Dead and Halo 3.

I'm probably going to go out and pick up the full version of this game at some point. And I'll probably grab a few real time strategy titles while I'm at it, just to see how much of my young PC gaming self still lies dormant within me.

In the mean time, I need to go spread the word to all my gaming friends that I have a computer that can run Crysis. After all, I am "that guy."

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