PC Gaming: not so DOMED?

So I’m looking back at the games I’ve played so far this year on the PC, and I came to the realization that this has been one of the best years for PC games in a long time. Half-Life 2, World of Warcraft, Rome, Painkiller, Warhammer, Myst IV, City of Heroes, Thief III, Kohan II, DOOM III, Battlefield Vietnam… not to mention all the stuff that’s still on my pile, like Vampire or the Sims 2. Or the stuff that hasn’t come out yet, like the Painkiller expansion and Pirates. Heck, it’s not even Thanksgiving yet!

Lot’s of great games this year. Who knows what the future will bring, but right now, this PC gamer is a happy camper.

Damn, and I was actually half-expecting a discussion of rendering techniques for refractive half-spherical objects…

Agreed. Despite the now-customary headaches with copy protection running afoul of certain drives and the usual bugs and glitches, I have spent a lot more time gaming on the PC this year thanks to a number of excellent titles – and they’re not even all sequels.

Definitely more good stuff out there now than I could ever reasonably play.

Also, the characters in Doom III were, for the most part, rather domed.

Thing is, most of those were started a couple of years ago. I’d be curious to know the level of PC game development now. How many new PC game development projects have been started this year?

One of things that bothers me is that publishers like EA now seem to make console games and a large portion of their PC lineup are PC versions of their console games. Heck, even PopTop was advertising for a console programmer. I’m sure their next game is a PC title, but it may be designed for console too. I don’t always like the marriage of those two platforms.

What I see are fewer flight sims, fewer turn-based strategy games, fewer space sims, etc. A lot of the diversity in PC gaming is disappearing.

Trust Mark to bring sour apples to the party. As I said, I have no idea what’s in store for the future. I’m just saying that this year was a pretty damn good one.

Heh. I never said this year wasn’t a good one.

To me, it looks like PC gaming is becoming marginalized. I am not rejoicing in being pessimistic. I’m simply making an observation. This year’s E3 was a disappointing one for PC games.

I much prefer PC games to console games, so I’m not happy about what I see. That doesn’t mean I’m going to shut my eyes to it.

It was actually the title of your thread that nudged me to post. You made an assertion that goes against what I’m seeing.

I’m guessing that most years will look a lot like 2003, where a lot of the better PC games were either console ports like Vice City and KOTOR, or games that were simultaneously developed for the PC and the consoles like Prince of Persia. I think that strategy games will be the one genre that stays PC only for the most part, whereas everything else will be console related.

Soon, you’ll have to pay $79.99 for those kinds of games.

It’s funny… I was just thinking that if it wasn’t for Painkiller and (when I get around to it) Vampire, I could have gotten rid of my PC as far as this year was concerned.

That’s because you’re crazy. I’ve just finished the Kohan 2 campaign, now I’m playing the Dawn of War campaign, I’ve ordered Children of the Nile and that Vampires game and Half-Life 2, and I’ve already played Doom 3 and Thief 3 earlier this year. Granted, there wasn’t much in the first half of 2004 but it looks like a great year for PC games after all.

So 8 games are sequels. And the others seem to be MMORPs (I can’t remember what Warhammer is).

I am not calling PC gaming dead but it certianly seems like the landscape is changing. MMORPs seem to be the only “new” games while the biggest titles this year are sequels to past games.


HALFBAKED

World of Warcraft, Rome, Painkiller, Warhammer, City of Heroes and Vampire are not sequels (neither is Children of the Nile, which I forgot to list), though WoW is based on an existing franchise, and Rome is part of a series of mechanically similar games. But by this metric, console games aren’t much different. How many of the big console releases are new francises, and how many of them have numbers tacked on?

Doom 3 was pretty mediocre and Thief 3 was pretty terrible. If you’re not a fan of RTS, that leaves the two I mentioned and Half Life :/.

Thief 3 was far from terrible, at least if you played the version I did. I found Doom 3 to be pretty boring, however.

Monster closets are ok, closet sized levels and contant loading, with much worse performance and graphics than hl2? Suck.

t3 blew, for me. I’ll dig out the cds and dust them off when I have a new system in a year or so. It literally runs crappier than doom 3 for shit’s sake.

Every pc gaming is in trouble thread has two sides.

Side one: “Look at all the great titles I have to play. PC gaming is doing great!”

Side two: “Look at the business stats. PC gaming has shrunk in half in the past six years where console gaming has trippled. Its hard to find a store that even sales pc games anymore. Also pc developers are abandoning the platform and publishers aren’t funding new pc games. PC gaming is doomed”

The fact is both sides are accurate.

There is a third side that says pc gaming is doomed because pc gaming is hard and consoles are easy. However for every pain in the ass program like half life 2, there are titles like UT2004 that just run with little or no issues. Plus Getter Half Life 2 to instal wasn’t any worse than trying to get Wing Commander II to install on a 386 sx 16. So I think its a wash and we just haven’t made any progress.

For me, I think this year has been great. I’m really concerned that good titles (especially original single player games) will be few and far between in 2005 to 2006.

I think single player RPGs are going to make a big comeback over the next few years. I think shooters will do okay as well.

Not quite started this year, but a list of promising PC games for 2005:

Guild Wars
Elder Scrolls 4
Battlefield 2
Star Wars Knights of Old Republic II
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Shadow of Chernobyl (damnedest game name to type on a keyboard yet)
Pariah
Nexus: The Jupiter Incident
Fallout 3
S.W.A.T 4
Brothers in Arms
F.E.A.R. (a lot of acronyms here…)
Quake 4
Silent Hunter 3
Freedom Force 2
Splinter Cell 3
Ghost Recon 2
The Movies
City of Villains (for City of Heroes)

Admittedly, a lot of sequels and a few cross-platform games, but still a decent looking year, and it hasn’t even started yet. Maybe more surprises later on, like another Max Payne (ending of 2 suggested something), or something.

Death of sims is lamentable, but not anything new. Developers need to actually make them, consumers need to actually buy them in large quantities. If one or the other (or both) doesn’t happen, they’ll continue to die out, or die out entirely.

I don’t think Elder Scrolls or Fallout are coming out in 2005. 2006 maybe… and both will probably be on consoles.

–Dave

this year is the first time in a long time I’m logjamed. I have GTA:SA and Half Life II in the same week, Warhammer still keeping me entertained, and my BF 1942/BF:V habit. Now Pirates next week. And Vampyres.
I’m set until Febuary. Just in time for KOTOR II.

There is still a bunch of this year titles that I haven’t got around to. Painkiller, X2, and I just don’t play as much UT as I should.