A Quiet Day For PC Gaming News

Sir. Your hat reflects poorly on your manhood.
Due to it being a lovely holiday day both here in Blighty and in the United States (and probably other places too) the RPS team are going to be having a bit of a quiet day. We’ll be around to post a few bits and pieces, but the site will be sleepier than usual. So let’s talk among ourselves for a bit. I’ve got two questions for you:

1. What’s your Game Of The Year so far? And do you expect that choice to last until End Of Year List season?

2. Have you recently upgraded your PC for gaming purposes? If you haven’t, and your PC is getting on a bit, what would make you do so?

To answer my own questions: The Witcher 2 is my game of the year so far, and that was what made me upgrade my PC, too. The side effect of everything else running like a dream is a bonus, too. What about you lot?

299 Comments

  1. noodlecake says:

    The game I’ve had the most fun with this year is either Portal 2, Terraria or Dragon Age 2. Dragon Age 2 gave me the most hours of enjoyment and I felt more passionate about it because everyone unjustifiably pulled apart for some very petty reasons and it really annoyed me. Luckily it sold tons and got generally good press from magazines and sites (people who, by the looks of things, know what a good game is more than generally whiny internet nerds) so it doesn’t matter anyway.

    so yeah.

    1. Dragon Age 2

    2. Winning the lottery… Or at least not being a student any more and having a proper job. I’ve never had a kick ass computer. All I have is my £600 laptop I got last year and I bought that because I wanted something reasonably decent with a dedicated graphics card so I could do my art and also play games of a reasonable quality on the move. I want to play Witcher 2 though and it almost but not quite works on the absolute minimum graphics settings and lowest resolution. It kinda does but it’s stoppy and I can’t read the text because it’s too small. :S

    • jaheira says:

      Yes, DA2 reviewed well. PC gamer gave it 94 and said it had the best combat in an RPG ever, which was pretty much spot on. It’d be great if Mass Effect 3 had fights with the same level of pace and responsiveness.

    • UncleLou says:

      I thought DA2 sold quite poorly, at least compared to DA:O? I didn’t like it, but I did contribute to the sales. ;)

    • BwenGun says:

      It sold relatively poorly. Most indications are that it just about covered it’s budget and made a small profit but that it was a dismal failure when compared to the sales the DA:O managed, and compared to ME2 it sold an almost laughably small amount. A fact that seems to have sunk in at Bioware given that last week the lead writer posted what amounted to a fairly grudging, almost hissed through his teeth if I’m honest, apology for doing such a half-arsed and rushed job.

      As for DA2 being a good game or not… eh. It was a reasonable game. From any other developer it would have got mid to low 80s from the press and most people would have either enjoyed it or stayed quiet about their problems with it. The problem was that it’s a Bioware game, which means that the game acted like a magnet for disaffected fans and irate fans wanting to defend them. The game itself had problems partly because it was rushed, and partly because they made some bad design choices early on and didn’t have time to flesh them out properly. The biggest example of which is Kirkwall which as a place felt dead and lifeless, especially when compared to cities in other games. (The cities of Assassin’s Creed springs to mind, along with the Witcher 1 & 2 and even Mass Effect 2 – for all that it’s hubs are fairly linear things the back-drop and atmosphere they create allow for a suspension of disbelief so that you actually buy the fantasy that they’re living breathing places filled with thousands of people just out of eyesight living their lives oblivious to your quest to save them all. Kirkwall was just a lot of running around between set-pieces.) Past that the lack of meaningful choice, and any impact on the game of your choices aside from purely cosmetic things just let it all feel like a big let-down. Especially the ending which from a narrative point of view felt rushed, ill-thought out and entirely unsatisfying. A bit like the Witcher 2.

    • Carra says:

      Dragon Age 2 was a fun game. But it’s not what I expect from a Bioware game, I expect much more. As the poster above mentions, the city design is bland and has been done much better in other games. That’s a big issue considering that 80% of the game plays in a single city. And the outside environments are recycled time after time.

      It’s a 75-85 game to me.

    • Velvetmeds says:

      DA2 was a great game that sadly fell victim to the “big name syndrome”. Not only have Bioware become too big and popular, plus the fact that the EA name is attached to it, people will tear them apart no matter how good their products.

      As for sales, it actually sold more then DA:O at first (1st week, maybe second too) but then it declined more rapidly than DA:O and because of that will probably end up with lower sales overall. Shame, this might make Bioware make their games more like Witcher, something that makes me shudder of fear and sadness.

  2. Oneironaut says:

    Witcher 2 is also my GOTY so far. I bought a HD 6850 in preparation for it’s release. I wasn’t able to run it at full settings but it was still a beautiful game, and now just about everything else runs at 60 FPS which is a nice bonus. The only game that I think has a chance of beating The Witcher 2 is Skyrim, but as I’m more interested in a well-crafted linear story than an open-world game, I think the Witcher 2 wins this year.

  3. mcwizardry says:

    GOTY: Portal 2, although I’ve only completed half of the co-op missions so far.
    Replacement Candidates: Deus Ex HR, Rage, Arkham City
    Hardware Upgrade: 5770 struggles with Witcher 2, Crysis 2 and Brink so that will propably go first, maybe a SSD further down the line.

  4. katinkabot says:

    1. Portal 2 – so far. That will probably change once I can find time to play The Witcher 2 or Arkham City comes out.

    2. I need to buy a new computer. Desktops are relatively cheap nowadays, so once I’m done moving I’ll probably look into getting the pieces/parts to build a new one.

  5. Adriaan says:

    Portal 2 and / or Frozen Synapse here. Haven’t played The Witcher 2, so I can’t comment on that myself, unfortunately…

  6. JohnnyMaverik says:

    1. Portal 2, but yes I do expect it to change when Deus Ex Human Revolution rolls around.

    2. No, it’s ok, runs anything at medium settings +, when I can no longer do that it’ll be time to upgrade.

  7. GreatUncleBaal says:

    1 Haven’t picked up too many games new this year, as I’m catching up on some older titles since upgrading my PC.
    Have only just picked up Frozen Synapse but I think that’s going to be keeping me coming back for a while, and will likely be one of my games of the year. Portal 2 will also be up there. Picked up Section 8 Prejudice on a whim a couple of days ago and have been really enjoying it too.

    2 My Xbox died last summer, and remains unrepaired, as I turned my full attention back to my PC – I upgraded my graphics card to a Radeon HD5750 (from an NVIDIA 8500GT) and doubled my RAM to 4GB, my processor is a fairly sturdy Q6600 which still runs nicely after a good few years (although I’ve got an itch to upgrade it anyway, as I quite like tinkering about and get a bit addicted to bolting new things on).
    Oddly I’ve been playing a lot more strategy games, which isn’t making the most of the new graphics card, but it’s been great to pick up recent titles and be able to run them in high res and decent frame rates.

  8. TheCheese33 says:

    Portal 2! The perfect game. It might have been The Witcher 2 if the ending wasn’t garbage.

  9. yhalothar says:

    I upgraded in March to an i5 2500k and a 570GTX. Ironically, the game I play the most is Spacechem. ;)

  10. gou says:

    Right now for me it has to be Brink, but I firmly expect that to change if Guild Wars 2 hits this year.
    Oh and there is the promise of guaranteed co-op hilarity of the third Saints Row at christmas. Heroes of Might and Magic VI, because I am a total sucker for that whole series and everyone needs something to exercise their inner megalomaniac.
    Lastly I will mention Deus Ex 3 only in passing because I’m cautiously skeptic about that one and my vision isn’t augmented.

    In response to the second question, I built this computer to coincide with UT3, Quad core based, the only two things I upgraded so far was last year: the OS to win7 and the graphics card to a hd5770. The old vista and 8800gt are still working just fine in the computer I built for my parents. Though I am starting to feel 4Gb of ram isn’t quite enough these days…

    • mashakos says:

      4GB is not enough? Hmm.
      Not the case for games, so what else do you use your pc for?

  11. Premium User Badge

    ChaosSmurf says:

    Bulletstorm by a few hundred miles. Not sure if it’ll last until end of year what with ME3, having not played the Witcher 2, Duke, etc.

    Haven’t upgraded in a few years, don’t have the money. A job is what’s most likely to get me to upgrade :P

  12. Dreamhacker says:

    GOTY’s thus far:
    Magicka (in the overall category)
    Total War: Shogun 2 (in the TBS pleasant surprise category)

    Crap thus far:
    Homefront (on the lower scale)
    Brink (on the higher scale)

    Potential to knock everything else outta the list:
    Battlefield 3

  13. pipkins says:

    Game of the year: Portal 2. Might upgrade for Skyrim.

  14. NotQuiteAllHere says:

    For all its flaws, World of Tanks is my game of the year to date. And given the rate at which I buy PC games (and even then about a year behind the curve come sale time), it’s likely to be in my Top 3 when the year ends.

    I did upgrade recently, though not strictly for gaming purposes – it was more a ‘have a working computer’ type of upgrade. That said, it has made my current collection look impossibly pretty, but the new rig isn’t breaking a sweat on games like RIFT (which most definitely is not on my game of the year list, by the way).

  15. kubaduba_pvp says:

    My favorite game of this year thus far is Terraria, and to run it I upgraded from GTX9800+ to a radeon 5970. WICKED

    Crysis 2 comes as a close second. Just validating my reason for the upgrade.

  16. K. says:

    1. At the moment: Fate of the World. Probably not in /played time, but because I absolutely like the concept.
    If it can last… depends on my ability to move through my gaming backlog.

    2. Mostly playing on a second-hand Dell Laptop that will get an upgrade when it cannot run WoW anymore.

  17. Oak says:

    1. Brink, comfortably. Might change, since I’ve yet to play many other games this year, but I really do think it’s something special.

    2. I’ve been putting off a needed upgrade for months, since research requires effort and effort is anathema to a man of cultivated laziness.

  18. Tom says:

    1 – haven’t bought a single 2011 game yet… wierd.

    2 – doubled my ram to 4GB. stuck a corsair h50 on my q6600 for OCing. got my eyes on a geforce 570 – which should be quite an upgrade from my ol’ 8800gtx.
    titanium hd’s looking nice, but that’s an optional extra.

    liking the long upgrade cycles.

  19. Paul says:

    GOTY belongs to The Witcher 2. I did upgrade my PC 3 months ago, it was because of TW2 and many other games (DX3, TDU2, Skyrim..).

    I doubt anything will be better than TW2 this year. That game is just amazing.

  20. Korsi says:

    I did just build a new PC and have been catching up on what I missed, it may be late but I really enjoyed Mass Effect 2. I’m still working through the massive Steam Sale backlog I accumulated, excited for Divinity 2, King’s Bounty and Amnesia. Will probably pick up Witcher 2 at the end of the year in another Steam Sale :) the best part of being behind on gaming!

    I did interrupt my backlog to pick up and play Portal 2 though, damn good game.

  21. Iscannon says:

    I’m surprised I haven’t seen anyone mentioned Bloodline Champions yet. Even if Pvp moba games aren’t your thing you have to be impressed by the quality of the game(If not by the advertising, or lack thereof). The whole setup of the game, the fact that people can play for free or spend as much as they like on it and not get stat advantages and the balance of 20-odd classes just shows how much work has gone into this game.
    And then you have the replay system they’ve just added, which would be a fantastic addition to any competitive game, but when you have such a skill-based game like this being able to watch your games again can really help you along. The tournament system is fully automated and fantastic, I think it was TotalBiscuit that said it should be in any game with a competitive element.
    I cannot reccomend this game highly enough, and the only issue is that the player base is quite small, but because it’s free to play I’m hoping word of mouth will do the advertising for them.

  22. DeathGOD1235 says:

    1. What’s your Game Of The Year so far? SKYRIM and Project Zomboid
    2. Have you recently upgraded your PC for gaming purposes? If you haven’t, and your PC is getting on a bit, what would make you do so? SKYRIM and BF3

  23. EOT says:

    I’m not sure what my current GOTY is. I seem to be in somewhat of a gaming rut at the moment, struck by an awful lethargic malaise of video game ennui. I blame this on an attention span ruined by years of console gaming and Modern Warfare, or maybe I’m just giving up on games. Who knows?

    What I do know is that it has left me unable to really enjoy any single player experience. Fallout New Vegas lasted but a scant few hours before I was skipping dialogue in search of mindless instant and bloody gratification and The Witcher 2 sits uninstalled as I seem to lack the patience to deal with the original’s awkward combat.

    Portal 2 though, that was something else. I got through that, and it’s co-op in 2 sittings of flinging myself through the air with the use of an aerial faith place and painting the town…er…blue with repulsion gel. So I suppose the title of GOTY for me, must by extension, go to the only game that has managed to get me to sit down at my computer for a period of time that did not involve mindless internet browsing in between bouts of self pity. Bravo Gabe you magnificent fat bastard.

    On the subject of PCs. My current machine is only around 6 month old. A £500-ish budget self build with a Phenom II 955, 4GB 1600Mhz RAM and an HD 5770. I think this should last another little while, but I’m prepared to see it crippled and made lame by BF3, or possibly Skyrim. Who knows. Given current form I probably won’t bloody play them.

    • LaunchJC says:

      I have almost the exact same PC, such good value.

    • EOT says:

      It is. But unfortunately I use a 36” TV as my monitor and the poor 5770 sometimes struggles to run some things well at native 1920×1080 resolution. But, such is life. I’m not really doing enough gaming to justify an upgrade for at least another year.

  24. LaunchJC says:

    GOTY: Portal 2 (LA Noire and Frozen Synapse may have taken this spot in a few weeks)

    Ok for upgrading (got a 5770) but may upgrade for BF3

  25. thesundaybest says:

    1. Haven’t played a game released in 2011 yet, so my game of the year so far is Far Cry 2. Although I do have The Witcher 2 installed and waiting.

    2. When I buy my next iMac. And no, that’s not a joke.

  26. Vinraith says:

    1. SpaceChem, both becuase it’s brilliant and because it’s the only game released this year I’ve actually played yet. The likeliest replacement is SotS 2.

    2. No, see above.

    At the moment I’m playing Close Combat: Wacht am Rhein, Brothers in Arms, Rainbow Six 3, and Men of War while trying to get the REFUELED mod working for FUEL while the Witcher 2 waits on a (digital) shelf for me to get around to it. Who has time for new games when there are so many great old ones?

  27. draknahr says:

    My favourite game so far would have to be the Witcher 2 as well…and it also made me upgrade my pc. :D
    DoW2 + Shogun 2 running perfect is nice too though.

  28. thegooseking says:

    My game of the year so far is Dragon Age 2 (followed closely by Portal 2). I’m hoping Skyrim, Deus Ex and Arkham City will be good, though. Any good games that aren’t sequels? Oh, I want to try L.A. Noire, yes.

    I built a new computer from scratch about a year ago. I’m already thinking about upgrading; my nvidia 240 is a bit old. Also 4GB of RAM seems a bit slight now, but I suspect that reinstalling Windows and using a browser other than Firefox would help with that (or even continuing to use Firefox but having better browsing habits, such as not keeping about 100 tabs open at a time). Perhaps another hard disk as well. That’s generally only because I’m too lazy to go through and decide what to delete, but also because I’ve learned my lesson about disk failure and want to keep a backup on another disk.

  29. Kadayi says:

    Top game: Portal 2. Likely to be my GOTY? Maybe*

    Hardware wise: No real plans to upgrade until probably next year at the earliest.

    *Presently on a gaming hiatus for a month or so (just playing not news) until my gaming mojo returns and putting my time into working my way through my sizeable book backlog. I’m expecting GOTY on PC will probably be a toss up between Portal 2, DE:HR & TW2, which although bought I haven’t yet gotten into.

  30. suibhne says:

    The Witcher 2 and Portal 2. I guess TW2 edges out Portal 2, but I’m nearing the end and it’s getting a lot messier – it’s a lot easier to think “If only CDPR had done this bit slightly differently” in Act 3 than in Act 1. Portal 2, on the other hand, was a delight but never quite lived up to its promise.

    Haven’t upgraded since I built this rig almost two years ago. It still handles current games without skipping a beat (so to speak).

  31. PeteC says:

    As far as games are concerned I’m a bit behind the curve. I like to wait until games are patched before I play them. That has the nice knock on effect that they’re also a lot cheaper. Thinking about getting Shogun 2 though so maybe that will be it. Who knows.

    As for what I have played this year, Mass Effect 2 is by far the best I’ve played. It’s been over a decade but I’ve finally played something to rival Deus Ex and the original Half Life. Great game.

    I upgraded my PC just over a year ago. Barely any idea what any of this means. It runs everything maxed out and super smooth and that’s all I care about. (although I’m yet to play The Witcher 2)

    CPU – i7 960 (320GHz)
    GPU – ATI XFX 5870 1GB
    RAM – 6GB DDR3

    I don’t intend to upgrade that for a good few years yet apart from an SSD at some point.

  32. DarkNoghri says:

    I think the only games from this year that I’ve purchased are Spacechem and Portal 2. Wait, Magicka, and maybe MNC. I’m not sure when those last two released though.

    Out of those, I’d say Portal 2. Magicka was hilarious (still is), but really needs extra players for good times. Spacechem, I can drop hours on when I start playing (especially when friends are beating my times), but it’s not something that I really get the urge to go play.

    Portal 2, I really, really liked. To the point where I actually beat it twice in the first two weeks. Good funsies. As to whether it’ll be my GOTY, that rather depends on if I buy something else this year that’s new. I’m fighting the urge to pick up TW2 rather hard right now.

    Upgrades? Either I see a really good deal that I have to have (unlikely), or a part dies on me. Short of a GPU upgrade or an SSD, upgrading would require a full overhaul (mobo, cpu, ram). So, yeah, not for a while.

  33. er910 says:

    My GOTY is Revenge of the Titans since my laptop is not powerful enough to play anything else this year. I guess it’s time to update.

  34. Acorino says:

    Dunno about GOTY, played only Portal 2 of this year so far.
    BUT: Started playing Gothic 2 over the weekend. What a great game! It’s all I ever wanted from an RPG, minus the tedium I usually associate with most of them. It fulfills my need for exploration, the game world is so well realized…not exactly one of the most polished games, but it has a lot of soul. Pity you have to grind a lot to have a chance later on.
    Witcher 2 shows me that I’m in need of a hardware upgrade. It’s very needy.

  35. Sorbicol says:

    GotY so far for me is easily The witcher 2. I’ve not upgraded my PC yet, although this game is probably going to make me do so!

    I’ve not played Portal 2 yet though.

  36. The Innocent says:

    1. My PC game of the year has to be divided into categories. Indie: Atom Zombie Smasher. AAA singeplayer: Witcher 2. AAA multiplayer: Section 8 Prejudice.

    2. I did upgrade my video card from one ATI to another, just a modest upgrade to get me out of the 4xxx HD series that was giving me tons of trouble with Brink. I’m thinking of doing a move over to a SSD this summer as well.

  37. TychoCelchuuu says:

    Game of the year is… hm… given that Assault Squad and Alpha Protocol are from years past (AS is oldish, right?), I’d have to say Frozen Synapse. That might change if Deus Ex 3 is amazing (and if it comes out this year, I can’t remember what the release date is).

    My PC is an E6700 and a 8800 GTX. I’m going to upgrade when Battlefield 3 comes out, I think. Performance in games is still fine but I want my video encoding to go much, much faster, which Sandy Bridge will get me, and Battlefield 3 is probably going to eat my computer for breakfast just like Battlefield 2 ate my old computer for breakfast.

  38. RagingLion says:

    Portal 2 is the best so far and could easily stay that way till the end. Not sure what other 2011 games I’ll buy as soon as they come out. The Witness has a chance actually assuming that doesn’t get delayed.

    Still rocking a 8800GTS. If that can still play The Witcher 2 which I will play at some point then it’ll simply take some games I really want to play being unplayable on my machine. Also a job.

  39. passingstranger says:

    I hate to have made such a boring pick, but Portal 2 is still firmly in my top spot.

    The Aperture universe is one that I could live in forever. The humor is so dark and pitch perfect that I can pretend it was written just for me. I revel in the confusion of stepping into a new, complex puzzle and devour each chamber I’m dropped into. It’s a reminder of how nice it can be when a came truly respects its players, both in writing and design.

    And, for something completely different, Terraria has rocketed into my top few. Though pretty markedly different from Minecraft, the additions it made improved upon the “Dig, Explore, Fight” mechanics so much that it’s hard to go back to Minecraft without feeling bored. It’s not often that I can have this much fun with a few friends online.

  40. voxn says:

    Dungeon Fighter Online! its comically generic name belies a unique game the likes of which you can’t really find anymore, and in mmo format to boot. To my eternal sadness its run by Nexon, but thems the breaks.

    My computer is going on ~4 years old, and I’ve started eyeballing new parts (especially ssds (and hex-core processors; for no better reason then that sounds like some serious future shit)) but probably wont commit till we discover Skyrim’s mettle

  41. Brittfire says:

    Again, Portal 2.
    sharing the experiance and being able to talk about it with lots of people at work gave the game even more icing on top.
    computer wise, just ditched the core2 duo e6750 and have a shiny i5 2500k @4.5g trundling along happily. the grx may need updating, but cant seem to kill my 5770 yet.

  42. Teddy Leach says:

    1, Frozen Synapse. Hopefully until Human Revolution comes out (the day before my 26th).

    2, My PC desperately needs replacing. What would make me do so is money. I need it.

  43. propjoe says:

    Portal 2 is my GOTY so far, and I’m don’t see anything that I think will surpass it (except maybe Skyrim). Most of my rig is a year or two old, but a few months ago I picked up a 30-inch Dell Monitor, and man do I love it.

  44. dethgar says:

    My GotY right now is L.A. Noire for the console toys. My PC GotY is Portal 2 at the moment, once I dig into The Witcher 2 it could change.

    I am preparing to upgrade my gaming box machine around the time BF3 comes out. It’s a good PC at the moment, my 5770 is solid but has trouble with more than 2x AA, and as is the case with most ATI cards, it hates shadows. I’m considering an Nvidia card as an upgrade, my motherboard supports SLI so even at the higher price it could end up being the better choice for future upgrades.

    I’m not sure what to do with my processor. I have a Phenom II 9950 BE(2.6ghz x4), and have been thinking about getting a hexcore but I’m not sure how well they work with games. Anyone know?

    • EOT says:

      The Phenom II Hexacores are apparently not that hot. You’d be best off either OC’ing what you have or Getting the 955 BE which is at 3.2Ghz but will OC to 3.7Ghz on stock cooling easily.

      Anything other than that would require a new mobo…in which case as you’re replacing the GPU at some point to means basically just a whole new machine.

      I think, I don’t know. I may well be talking shit and thus I open myself up for corrections.

  45. Spinks says:

    Rift is probably my favourite so far, I keep finding more things to like about it. I enjoyed DA2 but it’s not going to be a GotY.

  46. Arodin says:

    At the moment, Portal 2 is my GOTY, but I expect The Old Republic or Skyrim will beat it out in the end.

  47. roethle says:

    After the patch spaz is by far the best thing I have played this year.

  48. Metonymy says:

    It sounds crass, but there really has been nothing worth pirating, much less paying money for.

    I tried most of the series listed in these comments for 5 minutes or so, but there’s nothing about them that would make me play the sequels. Fallout was an exception: it had a control method that wasn’t an abomination, but of course, that didn’t come out this year.

  49. Sepulchrave76 says:

    I haven’t played any games this year which are actually from this year, so that first question will have to remain unanswered for now.

    As for whether I’ve upgraded my PC, that’s a resounding YES. Until today, I was running a laptop which was 5 years old and couldn’t even run the first call of duty game. I loved it, and it served me well for 5 long years, but I think it’s time to throw it in a skip (especially as I get messages when I boot up telling me the hard drive is dying). My new PC, which me and a couple of mates put together, is an Intel i5, with 4gig of ram and a Radeon 6950. It cost a fucking fortune, but should hopefully put me in a position to decide on which game I like most this year.

    It’s also the reason I missed the Manchester meet-up. I wasn’t playing it, I was sweating like a bastard putting it together and praying that it worked. It does! :)