Cliff Bleszinski stirred “controversy” when he announced the demo for Bulletstorm was coming to 360/PS3 and remarked on PC gamers being grumpy about it. Well, why wouldn’t we be? It makes no sense for a multi-platform game to have a demo on consoles but not PC. The same thing happened with Dead Space 2, Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2, Splinter Cell: Conviction, and many others over the past few years. “Oh, well, piracy!” Does the standard anti-PC excuse really apply here, though? It’s true that some forms of copy protection can be bypassed by using code from the DRM-free demo executable, but games get cracked regardless of whether or not there was a demo available, so what does it matter? You could argue that not releasing one actually encourages piracy, since many people rationalize downloading the game for free as a way to try it out before they buy in the absence of a proper demo. There may be plenty of excuses not to release a demo on PC, but there isn’t really a good reason that I can see.
In the same vein, it’s so not cool when one platform has the exclusive on a game’s DLC for a certain period of time. Actually, it’s even more of an insult than insisting you pay for it in the first place, like saying “We don’t just want to charge you too much for a bit of fresh content, we’re also hoping you buy this version of the game because you can’t wait two months for us to charge you too much for a bit of fresh content on your platform of choice.” Really, does that ever work on people? Worse still is the fact that it’s usually Microsoft doling out inappropriately large sums to get the exclusive for their precious Xbox, blatantly defying their so-called resolution to support Windows gaming. At least I could understand if Sony wanted the exclusive, since they’re only looking out for themselves. They’ve built a legacy on the PlayStation with temporary exclusivity of games such as Grand Theft Auto and Resident Evil, which is fine because there’s no conflict of interest. In the end, however, I suppose having to wait for a game or DLC to come to PC is better than not getting it at all…
Granted, this is a PC gaming site, so most of us here have a definite bias toward our gaming platform of choice. As such, we like to complain when things don’t go our way, but you have to admit we used to be the envy of the console gaming crowd. Remember when there was no way to get demos for console games without buying a magazine to get the promotional disc that came with it and hoping what you wanted was on there? Not to mention, there was no way at all to receive patches or content updates. Since then, consoles have come a long way in catching up to the PC, but they’re still not on the same footing. The only reason we get slighted the way we do is the degree of popularity they’ve achieved, and thus the power they wield over the players in the industry has leveled the playing field. I just wish it would have stopped there, instead of leading to a regression of sorts where the PC is often treated as the red-headed step-child of the gaming platforms, even though that perception couldn’t be farther removed from reality.
Though it has become increasingly rare, there are some companies that treat the PC with the respect it ought to be, and in different ways: an exclusive game, a multiplatform one designed for PC first, free downloadable content, avoiding DRM that only punishes legitimate users, the simple courtesy of treating all platforms equally, etc. Any time we’re treated this way, it only serves to remind the console crowd the ways in which they’re underappreciated (Aww, you have to pay for that DLC because MS doesn’t allow freebies? Too bad…). These developers and publishers deserve respect in return because, as cheesy as it may sound, what goes around comes around. Support the companies that support the PC, because we really can’t afford to lose any more.
Firing Points is a weekly editorial that explores popular, pressing, or otherwise provocative topics in the world of gaming. The opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the rest of the FiringSquad team, or anyone else for that matter.
Elemental: Fallen Enchantress Preview Elemental: Fallen Enchantress is a standalone expansion pack and follow-up to developer Stardock's previous game in the series, subtitled War of Magic. That 4X strategy game was highly-anticipated and slated to compete with games such as Sid Meier's Civilization V for your turn-based strategy play-time, but was released in an incredibly broken and unfinished state that it never fully recovered from. Lead designer Brad Wardell apologized profusely to fans and set out with his team to go back to the drawing board and try again.
Almost two years later, the result of that proverbial mulligan is currently undergoing closed beta testing. In today's article, Will reports his thoughts on how Fallen Enchantress is shaping up, and will tell you whether or not you should be keeping an eye on it as it nears release later this year.
The Elder Scrolls Online Details Leak - Should Fans Be Excited? The Elder Scrolls Online, long rumored to be in development, was officially announced yesterday. Still in development at Zenimax Online Studios, this MMO aims to combine traditional genre mechanics with the spirit and sensibilities, not to mention setting and lore, of the immensely popular series of single-player RPGs. Though the game is set for a full unveiling in the next issue of Game Informer magazine, what appears to be the entire cover story article has been leaked to the interwebs already. In today's article, you'll find summary and analysis of all the alleged details, as well as feast your eyes on the very first screenshots and concept art from the game. Of course, the burning question now is, should you be excited?
ANNO 2070 Review
The year is 2070. The majority of life on Earth was devastated when global sea levels surged after the melting of the polar ice caps. Swaths of previously habitable land are now deep underwater, and sovereign nations are a relic of the past. But there is still hope...
This city-building RTS/simulation game from Ubisoft tasks you with re-colonizing what little land areas are left on the planet following a global warming apocalypse. Does it have what it takes to be worthy of your time and money, or should it be cast out to sea with the rest of civilization? Find out in today's review!
Mass Effect 3 PC Review
This latest release from EA/BioWare is the final entry in their trilogy of sci-fi action RPGs, putting you in a dire situation: rally the troops to save Earth at all costs. There was a lot of hype surrounding the final act of what has been a vast and highly-customizable story-telling experience, and the reception among many hardcore fans has been less than stellar. Even people that haven't played the game have probably heard about all the nerd rage going on over Mass Effect 3's ending...
If you want to cut through all the crap and find out whether or not the rest of ME3 is worth playing, come check out Will's spoiler-free take on the first blockbuster game release of 2012.
Batman: Arkham City PC Review Batman: Arkham City is the sequel to 2009’s smash-hit action game Batman: Arkham Asylum. As the name suggests, you will be reprising your role as the Caped Crusader and going against an even larger 'prison' filled with Gotham's criminals and villains. A textbook example on how to do a proper sequel, Arkham City takes what worked in the original, excised or improved upon what didn’t, and elevated everything to an even greater scope. The PC version suffered from a few months of delay, but in that time, Rocksteady worked closely to NVIDIA to implement some familiar technologies from the last game, such as PhysX and 3D Vision, along with new DirectX 11 optimizations. But how well was the whole package executed? Read on to find out!
Saints Row: The Third PC Review Saints Row is one of most unique series of games to build upon the open-world action template forged by Grand Theft Auto, and has met with plenty of critical and commercial success since it began on consoles back in 2006. This latest iteration, titled Saints Row: The Third promises the most outlandish fun and freedom of customization of them all, and in a much more PC-friendly package than its predecessor. Does it live up to those expectations and, more importantly, is it worth the price of admission? Find out in Will's latest review!
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim PC Review The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is Bethesda Softworks’ latest offering in their series of epic fantasy RPGs, as well as one of the most highly-anticipated PC titles of 2011. As the Dovahkiin, or Dragonborn, prepare to take the fight to the mythical beasts that have returned to the realm after centuries of slumber, all the while exploring a huge and highly-detailed open world.
The PC version of the game promises enhanced graphical fidelity, standard RPG trimmings such as hotkeys and quick-save, as well as unbridled mod support, something we’ll all be thankful for once they release that SDK. Skyrim has already sold millions of copies and set records for play-time on Steam... Find out why in today's review, which happens to be one of the biggest and most in-depth articles on the subject out there!
L.A. Noire Complete Edition PC Review L.A. Noire, as the name clearly states, is a video game built on the tropes of one of the greatest periods of American cinema: film noir. Developed by the now defunct Australian developer Team Bondi and published by Rockstar Games, this title has been out on consoles for a full six months before finally making its way to the PC. This “Complete Edition” of the game features improved graphics, keyboard/mouse controls, and every bit of previously-released DLC for free. But was it truly worth the wait? Read on and find out!
Mass Effect 3 PC Demo Impressions Mass Effect 3, EA/BioWare's third iteration in their series of sci-fi action RPGs and one of the most anticipated titles of the year, is fast approaching its March 6th release. This week, though, they released a playable demo on PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 that offers a glimpse into both the single-player and multi-player portions of the full game.
Whether you're waiting impatiently for your download to finish or don't have the time to check it out yourself, go ahead and read some impressions of the demo from resident FSers Synch and Vandy in today's article!
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Xbox 360 Review
The self-appointed "most anticipated game in history" launched worldwide this past Tuesday. Why, it's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, of course (of course), what else? Unsurprisingly, the military FPS debate between this and Battlefield 3 rages on, but now that both have been released, surely we can take a look and objectively evaluate them both? Luke's taken the Xbox version of MW3 for a spin this week, so to find out what he thinks of it in today's review!