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 Post subject: PC Gaming Thread
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 8:29 
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So I've been sort of checking out the PC gaming scene as I'm wont to do every five or so years. I'm not bothering with anything I already played on the 360 and so I've been concentrating on PC 'exclusives'. So far I've played Crysis, Crysis Warhead, America's Army 3, and Arma 2.

I have to say Crysis is bloody brilliant, it does look lovely but more than that it's exactly the sort of shooter I enjoy. Loads of impressive scripted bits with ZOMGY explosions and suchlike but also some freedom to explore and to take a variety of approaches to completing the levels. Crysis Warhead seems like more of the same really.

I downloaded the ARMA 2 demo the other day for a quick look. It seems really good if a little difficult to get into. However it has easily the worst dialogue and voice acting I have ever heard in a game. The unintentionally hilarious nature of it somewhat detracts from the serious war simulator they are trying to present. "squeeze a few off on the range and then go see Captain Shaftoe" 8) . Also when you actually get away from the training things get even worse because all the radio communications are generated by piecing together individual words from a list and it sounds absolutely dreadful.

America's Army 3 seems quite well put together but it's kind of a bit hard to get over the fact that you're playing a recruitment/propaganda tool. Especially when you read the warnings at the start about how you'll get sent to Gitmo if you sell it to a Syrian.

Anyway my opinion formed so far after a few days of modern PC ownership is that the PC gaming scene is absolutely dying on it's arse compared with the last time I upgraded my PC about five years ago. Especially if you aren't into history based strategy games, RPGs about elves and shit, MMORPGs or the fucking Sims. Looking at the amount of shelf space in every shop I went in was an eye-opener, invariably even the PSP had a bigger selection.

Still, I'm having loads of fun with some of the games that are there and I'm looking forward to installing some older games and flight sims and cranking everything up to full but no amount of extra pixels would make me choose the PC as my preferred format for titles that are available on both. I don't even prefer playing FPSs with a keyboard and mouse any more. I had thought of the console pad as an acceptable compromise but I after going back I actually prefer it.

I'm sorry to say it but I reckon that in another five years the PC will be just about on a par with the Mac as a games platform.


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 Post subject: Re: PC Gaming Thread
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 8:30 
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If you haven't played Civilization 4 yet you ought to be ashamed.

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 Post subject: Re: PC Gaming Thread
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 8:38 
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Am downloading the demo now. Will report back later after hating it probably due to my complete ineptitude at these kinds of games.


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 Post subject: Re: PC Gaming Thread
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 8:38 
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markg wrote:
I don't even prefer playing FPSs with a keyboard and mouse any more. I had thought of the console pad as an acceptable compromise but I after going back I actually prefer it.

Yep, same here.

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 Post subject: Re: PC Gaming Thread
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 8:43 
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I got round to installing the latest patch for Mount & Blade at the weekend, just to see if there have been any performance improvements, but sadly not. I have to run it in DirectX 7 mode with pretty much all the graphic options turned down/off to make it playable. It's a shame but I can't justify upgrading my PC just to play it.

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 Post subject: Re: PC Gaming Thread
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 8:45 
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I agree with you on the Mac comment. I think we'll find that PC games will be made largely by the graphics card companies as tech demos. S.T.A.L.K.E.R.'s practically already there.

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 Post subject: Re: PC Gaming Thread
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 8:48 
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Yup. The sort of games that PCs truly excell at are strategy games and the like which DON'T need a £300 graphics card that consumes as much electricity as sub-Saharan African.


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 Post subject: Re: PC Gaming Thread
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 8:50 
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I wonder if my new laptop will play CIV. I'll have to (borrow my dad's copy*) and find out.





*Really.

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 Post subject: Re: PC Gaming Thread
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 9:00 
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I'm happy for them to keep the PC gaming market alive solely for Civ. They can throw out the rest of the crap.

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 Post subject: Re: PC Gaming Thread
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 9:01 
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Honey Boo Boo

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At least until they port it properly to the consoles, at least. CivRev was a good first attempt but was waaaaay too fighty fighty.


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 Post subject: Re: PC Gaming Thread
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 9:05 
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I've never played a Civ game after civ2. No, wait, I did play call to power briefly and hated it. What's the best these days?


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 Post subject: Re: PC Gaming Thread
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 9:08 
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IV - with the Beyond the Sword expansion.

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 Post subject: Re: PC Gaming Thread
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 9:08 
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*borrows his dad's copy*


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 Post subject: Re: PC Gaming Thread
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 9:23 
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I played the first half hour of Bioshock at full resolution (1920x1200) on the weekend. I made two observations. One, I am hellish rusty at mouse&keyboard control for FPSs (although I haven't gone off it, I just need to practice). Two, it looks fucking amazing. Roll on next-gen consoles with some real 1080p support and the texture resolution to do that justice.

But yeah, most PC gaming is dying. Look at how many games are now almost afterthoughts on the PC -- ports released months after the console version, with control schemes that are often clearly the result of the game being designed for the console first.

Why hasn't anyone made an MMO fly on consoles yet? I can only see two reasons Warcraft isn't on either the PS3 or the Xbox; one is the rate they push out client updates and the other is the control scheme. For the amount of money Warcraft is worth, you'd think Microsoft would cut them a deal on the title update certification process and let them use the chatpad or something.

Although perhaps that's backward. Warcraft isn't a good candidate for a console transfer because it makes so much money; why would they go to the effort? Perhaps a younger, hungrier MMO is the answer.

Also, I note that more people that ever own computers -- but they mostly own laptops with weak 3d graphics. Hence I think the strategy and RTS genres, being less reliant on eye candy and using a mouse (you can play Civ on a glidepad, you can't play Left 4 Dead on one) might remain viable on the PC for a long time to come yet. And PCs will continue to dominate the casual market, your Peggles and Bejewelled and a million Flash games; you can be sniffy about that, but Popcap makes a lot of money, and these are games that bring the ease of console gaming (insert disk or visit website and you're gaming!) to PCs.


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 Post subject: Re: PC Gaming Thread
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 9:35 
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Honey Boo Boo

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Doctor Glyndwr wrote:
Why hasn't anyone made an MMO fly on consoles yet? I can only see two reasons Warcraft isn't on either the PS3 or the Xbox; one is the rate they push out client updates and the other is the control scheme. For the amount of money Warcraft is worth, you'd think Microsoft would cut them a deal on the title update certification process and let them use the chatpad or something.

Although perhaps that's backward. Warcraft isn't a good candidate for a console transfer because it makes so much money; why would they go to the effort? Perhaps a younger, hungrier MMO is the answer.


A very good point. I think part of it is the communication thing (you'd pretty much need a chatpad or similar - voice chat would be unworkable except when you partied up) but I don't understand any other reasons why not. Certainly Final Fantasy XI and Phantasy Star Online have made valiant attempts but there's nothing about either that really appeals to me.

Quote:
Also, I note that more people that ever own computers -- but they mostly own laptops with weak 3d graphics. Hence I think the strategy and RTS genres, being less reliant on eye candy and using a mouse (you can play Civ on a glidepad, you can't play Left 4 Dead on one) might remain viable on the PC for a long time to come yet.


Yup. The best (non-MMO) PC games, the ones that swallow the most time, are your X-Coms, Rollercoaster Tycoons, SimCities, Civs... none of which require super 3D cards. The Sims is something of an anomaly in this respect (but then, the original didn't need any super duper hardware) but otherwise, all the computery games I still play (barring flight sims) are all old school 2D.


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 Post subject: Re: PC Gaming Thread
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 9:36 
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I just want them to make another Homeworld.

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 Post subject: Re: PC Gaming Thread
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 9:37 
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Bullshit. Halo and Testdrive managed to do proximity voice chat, so I can't see it being an issue elsewhere.

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 Post subject: Re: PC Gaming Thread
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 9:38 
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Civ4 needs a decent 3D card. Civ4 Colonisation needs a fairly beefy 3D card.

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 Post subject: Re: PC Gaming Thread
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 9:40 
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Grim... wrote:
I just want them to make another Homeworld.

:this:

Just about the only strategy game I ever enjoyed.


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 Post subject: Re: PC Gaming Thread
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 9:41 
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Not going to get drawn into this again with you guys but thanks for the laughs. The claim that a joypad is better than a keyboard and mouse for FPS games was particularly entertaining.

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 Post subject: Re: PC Gaming Thread
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 9:42 
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*hissss!* One of them!

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 Post subject: Re: PC Gaming Thread
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 9:43 
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Craster wrote:
Civ4 needs a decent 3D card.

Really? Arse. My laptop's only got an Intel GMA 4500MHD.

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 Post subject: Re: PC Gaming Thread
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 9:44 
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Dimrill wrote:
Bullshit. Halo and Testdrive managed to do proximity voice chat, so I can't see it being an issue elsewhere.


Both of those also limited your instances to a certain number players - never more than eight people around you in Test Drive, for example. I can't see any MMORPG really getting away with that apart from perhaps Guild Wars, but you can imagine the noise of a marketplace if all 200 screaming elmos are shrieking that they've got an epic belm +2 for sale, or they're a level 17 warrior LFG.

Crasta wrote:
Civ4 needs a decent 3D card. Civ4 Colonisation needs a fairly beefy 3D card.


Pity. I'd probably stick with Civ 2 or Alpha Centauri in that case.


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 Post subject: Re: PC Gaming Thread
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 9:44 
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I managed to run Civ4 off a 6 year old Radeon 9800 Pro quite comfortably. Ye'll be right.

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 Post subject: Re: PC Gaming Thread
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 9:45 
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Just because it's onboard, doesn't mean it's not capable of doing the job. That'll run Civ4, don't know about Col.

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 Post subject: Re: PC Gaming Thread
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 9:47 
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Nemmie wrote:
The claim that a joypad is better than a keyboard and mouse for FPS games was particularly entertaining.

Yeah. I look forward to the first 'mixed' online FPS.

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 Post subject: Re: PC Gaming Thread
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 9:50 
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Grim... wrote:
Nemmie wrote:
The claim that a joypad is better than a keyboard and mouse for FPS games was particularly entertaining.

Yeah. I look forward to the first 'mixed' online FPS.

No one said it was better, though; we said we prefer it. Slight difference.

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 Post subject: Re: PC Gaming Thread
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 9:50 
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myp wrote:
Grim... wrote:
Nemmie wrote:
The claim that a joypad is better than a keyboard and mouse for FPS games was particularly entertaining.

Yeah. I look forward to the first 'mixed' online FPS.

No one said it was better, though; we said we prefer it. Slight difference.

Exactly. Using a mouse and keyboard it is clearly easier to hit a target so far away that it is a few pixels wide but this isn't the thing that matters.


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 Post subject: Re: PC Gaming Thread
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 9:53 
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I was always terrible at FPS games that relied on twitch reactions on the PC. I feel like there's a more level playing field on consoles, and I enjoy it all the more because of it. I am under no illusions that I would get absolutely thrashed by a PC owning chum (and when I played Quake LIVE a few times when it came out using a keyboard and mouse, this reinforced this).

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 Post subject: Re: PC Gaming Thread
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 9:54 
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Grim... wrote:
Nemmie wrote:
The claim that a joypad is better than a keyboard and mouse for FPS games was particularly entertaining.

Yeah. I look forward to the first 'mixed' online FPS.
Quake III on the Dreamcast then, or Shadowrun, or the PS3 version of UT3.


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 Post subject: Re: PC Gaming Thread
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 9:55 
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I like games.

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 Post subject: Re: PC Gaming Thread
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 9:55 
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Grim... wrote:
Nemmie wrote:
The claim that a joypad is better than a keyboard and mouse for FPS games was particularly entertaining.

Yeah. I look forward to the first 'mixed' online FPS.


You missed it. I think Quake 3 on the Dreamcast allowed inter-platform play, and the recent Shadowrun game definitely did.


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 Post subject: Re: PC Gaming Thread
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 9:56 
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UT3 on the PS3, too.

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 Post subject: Re: PC Gaming Thread
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 9:57 
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I hear there were three games that had platform paly of inter changeableness. Unreal Tournament on th ePlaystaion 3 was one. Maybe QWuake 3 and Shadowrun were the others. I am sure that other people can write words to say yes.

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 Post subject: Re: PC Gaming Thread
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 10:04 
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myp wrote:
Grim... wrote:
Nemmie wrote:
The claim that a joypad is better than a keyboard and mouse for FPS games was particularly entertaining.

Yeah. I look forward to the first 'mixed' online FPS.

No one said it was better, though; we said we prefer it. Slight difference.

You prefer something but you don't think it's better than another thing? :S

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 Post subject: Re: PC Gaming Thread
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 10:06 
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Oh goody, another PC vs Consoles thread.


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 Post subject: Re: PC Gaming Thread
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 10:07 
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Grim... wrote:
You prefer something but you don't think it's better than another thing?

As markg said, it's not as good for pixel-perfect shooting, but that's not why I play FPS games for (as I explained).

Anyway, I agree with DavPaz.

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 Post subject: Re: PC Gaming Thread
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 10:07 
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Grim... wrote:
myp wrote:
Grim... wrote:
Nemmie wrote:
The claim that a joypad is better than a keyboard and mouse for FPS games was particularly entertaining.

Yeah. I look forward to the first 'mixed' online FPS.

No one said it was better, though; we said we prefer it. Slight difference.

You prefer something but you don't think it's better than another thing?

I prefer the feel of playing with a pad but recognise that it is easier to aim with a mouse. However because console games are designed around the pad then I find any deficiencies in terms of absolute accuracy to be completely irrelevant to my enjoyment.


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 Post subject: Re: PC Gaming Thread
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 10:11 
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Dr Dave Doak (who made Goldeneye and Timesplitters and more recently, er, Haze) was quoted in an interview at how strange it is to play PC FPSes after a lot of time with console ones. Console FPSes give a sense of weight and momentum when you turn, while on a PC you spin around effortlessly, shooting people on the other side of the map between the eyes.


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 Post subject: Re: PC Gaming Thread
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 10:18 

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Am I wrong in massively preferring the new Colonization over Civ IV? Even if it is BASTARD FUCKING HARD?

As for keyboards and mice and joypads and all that... I actually play both Crysis and the PC version of Fallout 3 with an Xbox 360 controller (to be fair, the latter was clearly designed around joypad controls and the former automatically maps to the 360 controller when it detects it). I think I've just grown so used to playing FPS games with a pad and so rusty with keyboard/mouse controls nowadays that using a pad just seems that bit more comfortable for me.

I do agree though, PC gaming does seem to be dying on it's arse a little at the moment.


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 Post subject: Re: PC Gaming Thread
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 10:19 
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Zio wrote:
Am I wrong in massively preferring the new Colonization over Civ IV? Even if it is BASTARD FUCKING HARD?.


They're different games. Col is brilliant, but doesn't have the depth of Civ.

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 Post subject: Re: PC Gaming Thread
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 10:21 
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I'm going to plug Gratuitous Space Battles again, because it looks aces.

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 Post subject: Re: PC Gaming Thread
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 10:47 
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I do a lot of PC gaming because much as I like the immediacy and unfussiness of the FunSquare, playing on it means monopolising the TV in the living room, to the perturbation and despair of other family members. Also, I still suck at console shooters.

I lost my weekend to King's Bounty: The Legend, a light-strategy light-RPG from (some of) the people who brought you the utterly fantastic (and utterly barking mad) Space Rangers (which I can't help but read as Spaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaace Raaaaaaaaaaaaaangers!!!!111oneone!) (I'm not sure this sentence has had quite enough brackets (yet)). It's got elves in it but it's still quirky slow-burn fun of the sort that the PC still seems to do really well.

The only upcoming game I'm really looking forward to is Champions Online. I'm not much for MMOs as a rule, largely because I hate the vast majority of the people I'm forced to share a planet with, but I had a really good time with City Of Heroes and the opportunity to live in a Silver Age comic is too nerdily thrilling to pass up.

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 Post subject: Re: PC Gaming Thread
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 11:41 
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So other than Civ 4.. sohoufl I try Crysis on my new box?


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 Post subject: Re: PC Gaming Thread
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 11:42 
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Very much definitely. If you like shoot them ups, that is.


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 Post subject: Re: PC Gaming Thread
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 11:45 
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I recommend World in Conflict as a good RTS too


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 Post subject: Re: PC Gaming Thread
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 11:46 
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I'll have a gander although as I say I never really get on with strategy games, I'm even rubbish at chess.


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 Post subject: Re: PC Gaming Thread
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 11:47 
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markg wrote:
I'll have a gander although as I say I never really get on with strategy games, I'm even rubbish at chess.

Me too. It's my secret shame.


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 Post subject: Re: PC Gaming Thread
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 11:47 
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markg wrote:
I'll have a gander although as I say I never really get on with strategy games, I'm even rubbish at chess.

Everyone is, except for Grim...

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 Post subject: Re: PC Gaming Thread
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 11:54 
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:DD

If you haven't played Homeworld, play Homeworld. Then Homeworld 2. Then Homeworld 2 2.
No, it had another name, didn't it?

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You are using the 'Ted' forum. Bill doesn't really exist any more. Bogus!
Want to help out with the hosting / advertising costs? That's very nice of you.
Are you on a mobile phone? Try http://beex.co.uk/m/
RIP, Owen.

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