Windows XP (with Service Pack 2) or Windows Vista
Minimum System Requirements:
CPU: Pentium 4 2.4GHz Single Core processor
System RAM: 1GB
Video Card: Direct X 9.0c compliant video card with 128MB RAM (NVIDIA 6600 or better/ATI X1300 or better, excluding ATI X1550).
Sound Card: 100% direct X 9.0c compatible sound card
Hard disc space: 8GB free space
Important Note: Game requires Internet connection for activation.
I’ve been expecting this, but it still came as a disappointment when I saw it. My graphics card (NVIDIA 6200) is below the minimum requirements. Looks like the game requires a $120 graphics card just to run. I’m sure for $120 the game will be choppy and look worse than games that came out four years ago. If you want a good play experience, and if you want the game to look anything like the preview movies they’ve been cranking out, you will most likely need to spend about $350. Meh. I don’t even care anymore. Even if $350 fell into my lap right now, I just don’t have the desire to keep going on this stupid graphics card treadmill.
The rhetorical question: Is there some law that says we have to crank up the system specs each and every year? My computer can run Doom3 without a hitch, and the game still looks fantastic. So why do we need eight times more computing power? I’ve seen the preview movies, and while Bioshock does indeed have charm, I can’t say it looks eight times better. Game developers: Give it a rest already. Just perfect the technology you’ve got in front of you. Bring the load times down. Keep the framerate smooth. Minimize how much screwing around the user will have to do under “video settings”. Squash the bugs. Stop trying to re-invent the wheel. Nobody cares about your Trifiltering Bling-Maps and your Derasterizing Shine Buffers.
Even more troublesome is the last item on the list. I haven’t forgotten the time I picked up Half-Life 2 on release day, and spent two hours jumping though Steam’s hoops. I’m not eager to repeat that process. For a while I wondered if it wouldn’t make more sense to buy a game, leave it unopened, and get the hassle-free warez version online. Then I realized that would just be a different sort of hassle.
Days are short, my gaming dollars are limited, and I have better things to do than beta-test buggy, unfinished games while performing their useless anti-piracy calisthenics. I don’t care about the game’s lineage, or the design team, or the fact that it’s the “spiritual successor” to my all-time favorite PC game. PC games have been getting more expensive, more troublesome, more buggy, and less fun for about the last seven years.
Once in a while I hear people crying about the death of PC games. They talk about casual gaming, aging fans, and shrinking shelf space. But nothing is “killing” PC games. PC games are committing suicide.
(Also, I know lots of people are going to suggest “get an XBox 360”. That’s pretty tempting, and I may do that at some point, but I can’t bear the thought of playing an FPS on a console. I’ve tried it. It’s like trying to dig a trench with a spear: You can probably do it if you really want, but the whole time you’ll wish you had the right tool for the job.)
On the upside, I discovered a battered and overlooked copy of Rise of Nations (2003) for $5 in the bargain bin and I’ve been having a blast with that. I’ve also been playing a lot of Playstation 2 games. They’re hit-or-miss, but I have to give them credit for being free of bugs and anti-piracy hassle. Recently I had a great time with Jade Empire, but of course that was a port of a succesful two year old XBox title.
The Truth About Piracy
What are publishers doing to fight piracy and why is it all wrong?
Blistering Stupidity of Fallout 3
Yeah, this game is a classic. But the story is idiotic, incoherent, thematically confused, and patronizing.
Was it a Hack?
A big chunk of the internet went down in October of 2016. What happened? Was it a hack?
Are Lootboxes Gambling?
Obviously they are. Right? Actually, is this another one of those sneaky hard-to-define things?
The Best of 2015
My picks for what was important, awesome, or worth talking about in 2015.