A Self-Serving PC Gaming Wish-List

It’s my birthday. I want these things.

– A proper X-COM sequel – not one of those clunky unofficial ones or an open source remake.
– A Transformers MMO
– Dungeon Keeper 3
– The Half-Life 2 RTS to go full-blown
– Bioshock 1 recreated with Bioshock 2’s engine/combat systems (and a better ending, of course)
– The Elder Scrolls V, but even weirder than Morrowind and with no returning Oblivion writers or actors
– Eyezmaze, the guy behind the ever-charming Grow games, to step up to major development and make something huge, strange and spectacular
– King’s Bounty 2, with no recycled content
– Mass Effect 3, right now
– Steam’s offline mode to work perfectly
– Aliens Vs Predator Vs Harry Potter
– Some sort of hypno-therapy that makes me incredible at Starcraft 2 overnight
– To never see or hear the phrase “dumbed-down” again
– My two front teeth



  1. corbie says:

    Happy Birthday Alec. Keep wishing :-)


  2. guisim says:

    Happy Birthday !

  3. Carra says:

    You don’t want the cake?

  4. Max says:

    Happy Birthday !

  5. Baboonanza says:

    Happy brithday!

    Steam’s offline mode *does* work perfectly, I’m offline 90% of the time I’m using it! The trick is that you have to start up a game at least once online before it will run in offline mode. Do that and everything’s cool.

    • somnolentsurfer says:

      It works fine most of the time. It just seems to refuse to start up if a game crashes. And given that, you know, most of my crashes these days are related to my Internet going down…

  6. WilPal says:

    Happy Birthday!

  7. Gareth says:

    Baboonanza said:
    Happy brithday!

    Steam’s offline mode *does* work perfectly, I’m offline 90% of the time I’m using it! The trick is that you have to start up a game at least once online before it will run in offline mode. Do that and everything’s cool.

    Gotta agree here, never had any issues with it so long as you follow those rules. Game needs to decrypt first, etc etc.

  8. DanPryce says:

    FUCKING AMEN to the Transformers MMO. I would go for the rest of the list too.

  9. ShaunCG says:

    I can scarcely believe the extent to which this birthday wishlist is dumbed-down. Whatever happened to the halcyon birthdays of 2009? Feh.

  10. Mechorpheus says:

    RE: Aliens vs Predator vs Harry Potter

    Might be quite interesting, as EA might make rebellion actually implement something innovative.

    Rebellion really need someone to write down every single thing which made the FPS genre better since 1999 in a large hard-backed tome and beat every single member of their development staff round the head with it, just to be sure some of it stuck.

    /me isn’t bitterly disappointed with AVP3 much at all…..

  11. drewski says:

    I note a distinct lack of world destroying robots on this list, which seems like a missed opportunity.

  12. fishyjoes says:

    Happy Birthsday!

    But you should wish for a hypno-therapy because there is none. Better wish for the will to put effort into SC2. I am sure its going to be worth it;)

  13. Javier-de-Ass says:

    > – To never see or hear the phrase “dumbed-down” again


  14. Fede says:

    Happy Birthday!
    May your dreams come true :)

  15. Jonnybase says:

    Sacrifice 2!!!

    • Lemon scented apocalypse says:

      +100000000 internet points. conservatively

  16. laikapants says:

    Happeh Birthday!

    DK3: Yes!
    Bioshock 1 -> 2: Yes Yes!
    TES V Being Morrowind weird: Good lord, a million billion times yes! Though I’m not entirely sure how weird the home of the Nords can get (if that like 3 year old rumour has any weight to it). Then again, Bloodmoon was amply weird for me.

    Yes to everything else because I’m too lazy to respond to each one.

  17. Sam says:

    Yeah, perfectly. Except when it doesn’t. Which at least for me is pretty frequently.

  18. Bremze says:

    I heartily agree with everything on the list except for the x-com part. I’d like a good open source remake even more than a “proper” one. UFO: Alien Invasion, I’d like a stable build from you please D:

    • jalf says:

      Well, so far, all the open-source remakes have been consistently terrible. So yeah sure, it’d be nice if one came along and magically was awesome at everything, but I can’t blame Alec for being realistic: It’s pretty clear that an official sequel is about 80 times more likely to happen.

  19. Kadayi says:


    Agreed. Steam offline mode has worked perfectly well for an age. It’s only where the game (like Burnout Paradise for example) is looking for additional on-line access that it runs into problems.


    Happy Birthday. What happened to the teeth?

  20. Ffitz says:

    Many Happy Returns, Alec.

    Yes, absolutely to the X-Com wish. That would be at the top of my list too. It would be icing on the cake if the Gollops were to build it.

    The rest of my list would be:

    A top-notch reworking of both X-Wing and Tie Fighter. Same missions, new shiny engine. Also: drop-in co-op multiplayer throughout the campaigns.

    Battlefield 3 to be out tomorrow and truly brilliant.

  21. ThePinkNinja says:

    I’d settle for Dungeon Keeper 3 but I also wnat Theme Hospital 2

  22. Brulleks says:

    Elder Scrolls V should be set in Elsweyr. Enough of the elves and humans!

    I’d love to see what kind of society the Khaajiit would construct.

    • James G says:

      Trademark registrations suggest that TESV may be set in Skyrim, although obviously such things are subject to change.

    • AndrewC says:

      Oooo Khaajiit could be huuuge post-Avatar. Enforced furry-ism now!

    • laikapants says:

      I support this wholly if they bring back the other species of Khajiit and Argonian, with old legs that prevented them from wearing boots. I also really want to go to Black Marsh, full of slavers and pirates.

  23. Ian says:

    I think you’re only supposed to get your two front teeth at Christmas, Alec. Only another eight months to wait…

    But if it were in my power, I’d definitely grant you your X-COM wish…

  24. UK_John says:

    Every time you say something intelligent (“A proper X-COM sequel …”), you spoil it by saying something dumb (“Mass Effect 3, right now”) This mixture will lead to grief, with an X-Com dumbed down for the multiformat market just like Mass Effect is a dumbed down RPG for this market.

    To have a ‘proper’ X-Com sequel requires a ‘proper’ PC gaming market. Having the Bioware’s of this world going from Baldur’s Gate and Planescape Torment to Jade Empire and Mass Effect and Bethesda going from Daggerfall and Morrowind to Oblivion and an Elder Scrolls MMO is showing PC gaming to be going in the opposite direction to ‘proper’!

    • AndrewC says:

      Irony detector: off the charts!

    • qrter says:

      On a very, VERY serious note – BioWare did not make Planescape: Torment, that was Black Isle Studios. I do believe PS:T did use a licensed BioWare engine, however.

      But do go on, what was that about dumbing down and proper?

    • Wilson says:

      @UK_John – Hey, I liked Jade Empire (and Mass Effect, but more Jade Empire)! What PC gaming needs is a mix of games of all different styles. There’s no need for people who like RPG elements but aren’t that hardcore about it to miss out on being able to play a quality RPG. I agree that it’s important to have some games of more depth/complexity/old schoolness, whatever you’d classify your cited games as having compared to the more modern ones, but not solely that.

    • Corporate Dog says:

      ‘Dragon Age: Origins’ is the throwback PC RPG you’re looking for. Are you not entertained? Is that not why you are here?

    • Urthman says:

      Jade Empire! I got that game at the Christmas sale and just recently finished it. I enjoyed the combat and the world design and some of the plots and side-quests, but the writing was so bad and the good/evil system so stupid that I think it’s permanently turned me off to all Bioware games ever. The Mass Effect 2 hype had just about convinced me to pick up Mass Effect 1 and give it a try, but now it’s way at the bottom of my list.

      (I had started the game thinking, “Oh, instead of good and evil, they’ve got open hand vs. closed fist. Maybe I’ll try the closed fist approach.” I decided to choose every closed-fist option unless the dialogue option was so utterly stupid I just couldn’t bring myself to click on it. Less than a quarter of the way through the game I was so open-handed I had a freaking halo.)

    • Lemon scented apocalypse says:

      Dragon Age: Origins is a throwback rpg harking back to those glorious days of wonder. Too bad it cliched, generic & boring.

  25. Theblazeuk says:

    Happy birthday Mr Meer.

  26. duel says:

    Hurray for Eyezmaze! Happy Birthday ;)

  27. Mod the world says:

    You get: Assasins Creed 2 and a pair of white socks. Happy Birthday!

  28. nabeel says:

    Happy Birthday Alec!

  29. KngShango says:

    Gaems are dumbed down!

  30. Igor Hardy says:

    Happy Birthday!

  31. Alex Bakke says:

    I had a birthday once. It was mediocre.

    Happy birthday.

  32. LintMan says:

    – Proper X-Com sequel: yes, please!
    – Patrick Stewart was in Oblivion! Don’t dis Captain Picard!
    – While the main quest stroy in Oblivion was kinda weak, I thought a lot of the quest lines rocked (ie: assassin quests, some of the demon and town quests, etc). The writers deserve some credit for those, no?
    – I’m tempted to wish for a Portal 2, but the original was so unexpectedly awesome that I’m not sure a sequel could do anything but disappoint.

    • Sassenach says:

      And Sean Bean, Mister Sharpe will not be best impressed with your comments relating to his acting.

      But yes to a great many of those things, crazy dreams though they are.

  33. The Archetype says:

    Happy birthday Alec!

  34. Andy says:

    Didn’t you get your two front teeth for Christmas?

  35. Patrick says:

    Happy Birthday
    You Can’t Have Any of Those Things
    You’re Drunk

  36. Mavvvy says:

    PC gamers everywhere unite, petition the World Health Organisation for a cure to consolitus and give this rapidly aging man a brighter outlook to his decrepit future.

  37. rmtx97 says:

    The Assassins and Thieves guild quests were the most fun I’ve had in video games for years.
    The Knights of the Nines one was solid as well.
    In fact, Oblivion was just sick. The mod with guns was pretty decent too! =)

    • rmtx97 says:

      whoops, post should have been reply @LintMan
      btw, I know why it doesn’t assign as reply.
      If I forget to enter the CAPTCHA, and immediately enter the CAPTCHA after the refresh, it forgets to assign my post as a reply

  38. Earl_of_Josh says:

    Sadly have to disagree. During the terrible weather we’ve been having on the east coast of the US a truck came and knocked down the cable to our apartment. Neither me or my roommate could play any of our steam games. I think there had been an update or something, but steam simply wouldn’t even start until we had gotten internet back. Boo! :-(

    Also, happy birthday Alex!

    Edit: Er, this was in reply to people saying Steam Offline worked fine for them.

  39. bebe says:

    No duke nukem forever?!

    Happy Birthday!

  40. Petethegoat says:

    ‘A proper X-COM sequel’

    ‘The Elder Scrolls V, but even weirder than Morrowind and with no returning Oblivion writers or actors.’

    If he doesn’t get these today, he had bloody well better get them for Christmas!

  41. Gareth says:

    It’s nice to want presents that give to the PC gaming community as well =)

  42. Heliosicle says:


  43. Paperflyer says:

    Happy Birthday, Alec!

    May I add a sequel to Outcast? (Or just the same thing again, but with todays graphics)

  44. Surgeon says:

    All the best Alec, hope you have a simply splendid evening.

  45. Urthman says:

    Bioshock 1 recreated with Bioshock 2’s engine/combat systems (and a better ending, of course)

    This could only be the Tom Francis ending, which I enjoyed reading so much that it has actually replaced the original ending of BioShock in my memories and I find myself looking back and thinking that BioShock had a fantastic ending:

    link to pentadact.com

  46. jsutcliffe says:

    Urthman said:This could only be the Tom Francis ending

    Yes! I loved that ending — it’s such a brutal use of the Vita Chambers. I was going to post a reply with a description of it because I couldn’t remember where I’d read it.

  47. CoffeeBean says:

    Happy Birthday!

    I heartily endorse the Dungeon Keeper bit. One of the greatest games ever. Also, I lament the lack of Homeworld entry on the list.

  48. Lambchops says:

    Happy birthday.

    The lack of those front teeth’ll teach tou not to be such a naughty boy this year!

  49. Vinraith says:

    With the exception of the Transformers MMO (to which I am simply indifferent) I fully endorse this list. Alec: You are a man of taste and sophistication, happy birthday. Gaming industry: Get on this stuff. Now.

  50. hoff says:

    Irrational, you heard the man’s wishes. Now stop all the rumoring and make that XCom sequel happening!