Archive for September, 2008

Why PC gaming piracy has lost

September 30, 2008 Leave a comment

Softwre piracy is a very controversial topic. Some people see it as theft, others as freedom from companies charging ridiculous prices, a way to strike back. In some ways, the situation has slowly been getting worse year after year. New networks come online to share. In turn more effort is put into shutting down those networks and suing the users on the network. Copy protection methods in products keeps getting more and more exotic as crackers find ways around protection.

It has actually come to the point now where it’s easier and more hassle free to buy a computer game, install and play. With the exotic new Starforce, SecuROM, and SafeDisc protections, the effort involved in cracking the games is no longer worth it. Just when you think you’ve got it working, a new update patch comes out that updates the game, and suddenly your crack no longer works. So the cycle goes on and on. Some games can be played fine with the “Gold” release, but many others are buggy and therefore need the patches.

Console gaming is generally devoid of this issue on the newer platforms, especially the Playstation 3. Because it’s Blu-ray based, no games have yet been pirated, nor the system chipped. I know an image of a game was made by using Linux on the console, but whether that game could be burnt and played I never found out.I don’t know about Xbox360, but I assume it’s also near impossible to break. With the console, you also get the added bonus of that the game will run, unlike on a PC where your system might be too slow or old.

After seeing first hand the effort that goes into trying to get a new game to work as a pirate copy, I believe it’s simply easier to buy the original and enjoy it. Sometimes the price is too high, but often enough games end up in the bargain bin quickly, and you can pick up some good stuff for pretty cheap. I have picked up¬†quite a few classics that way. Best of all, I’ve supported the guys who make a living from making the games, so it feels good.

The war will go and on, much as it always has, but slowly I think that piracy will end up fighting a losing battle. Every copy protection system will be cracked, but the time and effort involved may slow down crack releases a lot. If the game companies can just reduce the prices of games a bit, more and more people would turn legit again.

PC Gaming may never recover the limelight it once had thanks to consoles, but if piracy rates come down, along with prices, some good growth may again occur.


Two great games

September 8, 2008 2 comments

This past weekend I finally managed to finish off 2 great games, Call of Duty 2 and Crysis. I have not been playing too often, so it has taken me quite some time.

Call of Duty 2 has some very good graphics, and although it’s not cutting edge, it’s quite good. Sound was simply mind blowing, I truly felt like I was on a battlefield most of the time. It also made tremendous use of my surround sound system, which left me smiling.

The game itself has a strong, if disjointed storyline with it’s 3 campaigns. To be honest, I think that was probably my only dislike of it. The campaigns never tied together, and the endings felt somewhat weak. The end of the American campaign took me by suprise, I didn’t expect it to be so short. But being positive again, I will say that the opening mission of that campaign has to be one of the most brilliant levels in any computer game, no matter what genre. I really felt that I was on the beach, making landings as part of D-Day. Medal of Honour Allied Assualt had a great level with Omaha Beach, but this was better. Wow.

I picked the game up at a budget price in a computer shop, and it was well worth it. I have heard rave reviews about COD4, and if it is anything like 2, I know the hype is justified.

On to Crysis. I couldn’t help but feel a thrill when starting the game up, knowing that I was about to play the most graphically beautiful game of all time. I got even more of a thrill when I was able to play the game with all settings on high.

From the first moment, I was hooked. Graphics blew me away, as did the sound. Once again it made good use of all my speakers, and bathed me in sound. Once I was on the ground and got used to the nanosuit, I had a sinking feeling. I knew that any other shooter I played would not be the same without that suit. I haven’t yet felt myself reaching for that suit button in other games, but I do wish it was there.

The story line of Crysis is pretty strong right though, you just want to keep playing and playing. The music in game is also extremley beautiful, really adds to the mood. I do have to say though that the last few levels were a little let down, I don’t think it really did justice to the rest of the game. They set it up for a sequel, but did it in such a way that made you really want that new game now. I would say that Nomad shares the stage with Master Chief from Halo, they both want to finish the fight.

I look forward to getting Crysis Warhead, as well as the next Crysis game, whenever that may eventually arrive.

With those 2 games out the way now, I can focus on some of my other games, but I find that it feels a little shallow compared to the treats I have been given in COD2 and Crysis. Computer gaming may not be as easy or quick as consoles anymore, but it still is the king. You can mod, replay and multiplay in ways that consoles can’t touch. Overall, it still gives the best experience.