My PC Gaming Experience or: How I Learned to Stop Pirating and Love Steam.
I want to share my experience of coming over to PC Gaming. Simple as that.
Before Christmas, while walking through the magazine section of Tesco (Irelands version of Wal-Mart) I decided to take my usual monthly glance thru Edge magazine and when I say glance I mean 'stand-there-for-10-minute s-reading-the-magazine'. I came across an article of a game called "Day Z". The more I read, the more excited I became, the concept sounded amazing, but I was also confused at the fact I've never come across this game, even though I tend to keep myself up to date with the gaming world. Sadly I then also realised that it was a PC mod. Since my gaming was refined to my PS3, PSP and ...ahem, Wii (kinda), PC was off limits, I could never afford one and I just simply hoped I would see this game/mod come to consoles soon.
That evening, coincidentally, I seen a video on my YouTube page from someone's channel I was subscribed to. It was a video of Day Z, a kidnapping to be precise. While watching this a burning urge grew inside, I just knew then and there that I had to play this game. I came up with schemes of how I could save up enough to get a gaming PC after Christmas. After some reading up on gaming PCs it became clear that building your own PC was cheaper, a hell of a lot cheaper, and also that building a powerful enough gaming pc wasn't nearly as expensive as I thought. After doing a lot of research on each PC component and its importance, the pros and cons of amd/intel/nvidia etc... I bought (from hardwareversand.de, cheap German site) and built my own gaming PC. Putting it together was very straightforward.
It wasn't even Christmas yet but in a way it was and I was like a kid again with excitement. I'll admit, I was broke and intended to pirate a lot of games. Then I installed "Steam". It happened to be the Autumn/Fall sale and looking at the price of games I suddenly felt a huge ball of guilt building in my stomach. There and then I decided to never pirate a game again, pirating games when they were this cheap was taking the biscuit.
Two sales later I now have a library of around 50 games and have been loving the experience. If I have one regret it's that I didn't get a gaming pc sooner, I felt like I've been missing out. Don't get me wrong, I still love my PS3 and will still look forward to its exclusives. For me it's a matter of having two great platforms to play games on opposed to choosing one. I hate fanboysim, I think it's ridiculous to insult a gamer because of the platform they play on and even more ridiculous if you feel offended when someone does so.
I'd like to urge gamers who don't own a gaming pc to consider getting one, its highly likely that it's a lot cheaper than you imagine and also putting it together is very straightforward. There is a lot of places on the web where guys will pick all the parts for the type of gaming rig you want.
Also here is a few things I found to be great aspects of PC Gaming:
• Price- Compared to consoles, PC games are cheap and ridiculously so during the steam sales. Not to mention other digital distributers like Amazon, Greenmangaming, GOG etc...
• Mods- Mods add lots of varying content to your PC games, whether its new missions, stunning texture overhauls, adding new life to older games or being superman in GTAIV, Mods are great and best of all they're free! Also, Day Z is a mod (for now)and is truly a unique and amazing experience.
• Backward Compatibility- Nearly every game that was on PC is still playable, no matter what you change or upgrade and it's not likely to change anytime soon. Not only that, as mentioned above, there is mods to add new features and give them a nice makeover.
• Indies and Free-to-plays- F2P's is a helluva a good reason by itself to own a Gaming PC. Like c'mon, you get to play games for free! I know some are free to an extent, but a lot aren't. A good example would be the recent Planetside 2, a huge FPS MMO that, from my time with it, was pretty damn good. The indie scene on PC is massive. The level of creativity is amazing and I personally feel indies are very important to gaming which I'll get into in another post soon.
• Always upgrading- While consoles remain the same inside throughout their cycle, PCs are constantly upgrading and improving.
• Performance- From graphics to world size, it's common knowledge that PC Gaming packs a bigger punch than console gaming. Im not a graphics snob or anything, im a gameplay 1st kinda guy but sometimes i was left in awe, whether it was the beauty of a sunset in Far Cry 3 or the unbelievably massive world size of Day Z.
• The PC aspects- Its very useful while gaming to have the ability to collapse your game, hop onto Steam or the web to check on something then hop back into the game, this and all the other aspects of PCs themselves are nice to have in the same box.
That's it, my experience and why ive fallen in love with PC gaming.
To be honest, I started this post as "Is this year going to be a revolution for gaming" where i wanted to talk about the Steam Box, Linux, Ouya, Indies and the next generation of consoles and how this year could see a huge change for gaming, but ended up yabbering on about getting into PC Gaming. I will write about the other stuff over the next few days but for now, thanks for reading this and please leave a comment below, if ya want.