So Santa came to the farm a little bit early this year and left something positively jolly on my front step.
Ooooooh my. I am one excited boy.
So I made the decision and tossed my chips in with the PC. Given all the recent shenanigans going on with the PS4 and Xbox One, and all the assorted advantages related to the PC, I figured it was the best choice for me. I don't want to be a hysterical gamer, but those Watch Dog delays, the details of the PS4 shipping with half the features at launch as they claimed, and the Xbox One's incredibly sparse software line up (aside from Killer Instinct, which looks surprisingly dope in a campy kind of way) just left me with a bad taste in my mouth. I'm sure the next-gen consoles will EVENTUALLY grow into their own, but for now, I don't see any reason to drop $500 or more on a new box.
Then I look at the PC world. All the games I want to play that are already out and all the titles that I'm anticipating. The near ubiquitous state of multi-platform support these days means I'll only miss core exclusives from the consoles, and I can live with that. And of course, there are the ever popular Steam sales. I'm not sure if it's wisdom or self justification, but when I think about all the games I could enjoy with my now beefy PC that can be had anywhere from $5-$30 bucks during the typical sale, I have to think I'm probably saving money in the long run with the PC.
It doesn't hurt that I got the card on a wicked sale that came packed with Batman: Arkham Origins, Assassin's Creed 4, and Splinter Cell: Blacklist. I was planning on getting Origins anyway, and AC4 looks like the first AC titles I'd like to play since number 2 (I'd much rather be a swarthy cocksure pirate than some self-serious prick with all the personality of a block of wood) and I've heard nothing but nice things about Blacklist so I'll give it a fair shake.
There is more I'd say about the buying the new consoles VS upgrading your PC, but I think I may blog on it a bit and so I'll save the material for then. So look forward to that contentious flame bait!
As for the actual card, I AM STOAKED.
Oh my goodness. For a frame of reference, I upgraded to the mighty GTX 770 from my now ancient and decrepit GTX 285, effectively skipping several generations of video card tech. I've gotten so used to muddy textures and low FPS that it's almost disorienting to play some of my favourite games all crisp and smooth now.
So far the 770 has demolished everything I've thrown at it. Origins isn't a massively demanding game, but the difference between playing a day ago on the old and busted and playing it now on the new hotness is shockingly stark. Gotham's actually snowy now! And Batman leaves footprints in the snow! And shadows in the footprints! (Who said gamers have messed up priorities?)
Mechwarrior runs great. I turned everything up to max just to see how it did. The 770 ran it without a hitch. To see it all silky smooth after a solid year of playing with a sluggish 25FPS is faintly bizarre, like watching another game. Sadly, no amount of frames will save MWO from being the hot-mess that it is.
I cranked Blood Dragon to its highest settings and was rewarded with gorgeous neon mayhem.
Dishonored effortlessly slashed throats and rat-stabbed at 60FPS.
I can RUN the Star Citizen hanger module! The GTX 285 flat out refused to even try. I know wandering around in a virtual garage looking at a spaceship probably sounds lame, but I was very excited to see it.
Hell, I turned on V-Sync for the first time in my life today. FUCKING V-SYNC. I'm just being wasteful at this point.
So yeah, I'm loving life.
I've crammed a whole lot of Batman into the past two days and I've got some thoughts about it. On one hand, Origins feels like a tarted up expansion pack more than a full game. The sheer glut of re-used assets, some neighbourhoods seemingly ripped straight of City and lack of meaningful new mechanics (oh boy, glue grenades instead of ice!) give it a slightly thin feeling.
But at the end of the day, it's also totally rad. Being Batman is still awesome, "solving" crime scenes with your magic computer is better than ever, and the characters are a lot of fun to be interact with. I'd say I'm around 2/3rds through the story now and I'm really enjoying it.
Its the prototypical "wait for a sale" game. A genuinely good title, but certainly nothing you need to rush out and grab right now.