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. Angel Dust says:

    1. Portal 2 but like a few people that’s by default at the moment, although it does have a good shot at staying number one though. Possibly contenders are Deus Ex, Witcher 2 and probably some indie/foreign game that I haven’t heard of yet.
    2. I’m currently in the process of upgrading my PC (for the Witcher 2 in fact). Got to be pretty careful with what I get but I’m finally going to make the jump to 64 bit and Windows 7 (which I use at work and love). The rest of the specs will be an i5 processor, Nvidia 560ti, at least 4GB RAM.

  2. Soon says:

    The Witcher 2 jumps from best to worst depending on whether it just made me quit in frustration from suddenly not being able to control the camera or attack then promptly dying near the end of the hardest battle so far. Again.

  3. tonka_92 says:

    My Game Of The Year (so far) is without doubt, a game released on the 1st of January

    Zachtronics Industries’ Spacechem

    You know why, you know why :)

    I am currently in the “save up money” phase of getting a new desktop, this was triggered by those fantastically beautiful teasers for BF3, knowing that my current one won’t quite do, and the consolified versions won’t come close, and the fact that I came into a position whereupon I can save up money to gets me a new desktop

  4. Grey says:

    1. There are seven blockbuster games I played so far: Dragon Age 2 which is pissing me off, Dead Space 2 which is pretty decent, Shogun 2 Total War which is brilliant, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood which is graphically outdated, Crysis 2 which is, I dunno, but where the hell is Nomad(?) I don’t need another Gordon Freeman, Portal 2 which is overrated, and The Witcher 2 which I love. And as far as I know, CD Projekt Red and Creative Assembly are the few developers who fight the good fight. So Game of The Year so far is Shogun 2 and The Witcher 2, for strategy and RPG.

    2. The advantage living in Southeast Asian country is you can get pretty cheap computer parts here. I’m living in Indonesia and I just bought myself a pretty decent rig two weeks ago. Here is the spec: A Gigabyte Motherboard GA-890GPA (is Taiwan-based main supplier of Alienware, and I dunno why here is pretty cheap), AMD Phenom II X6 1090T, Geforce GTX 570 Sonic Platinum, 12 GB RAM Team Elite (Taiwan also), Western Digital Caviar Black 1 TB, A 700 W FSP Aurum PSU, and I love the variety of PC casing here, I chose the Venom RX Habu Neurotoxin Red because it got four heatsink fan and one huge 20-25 cm fan. If you guys come to Jakarta, I will gladly take you guys to this city’s cheap electronic market.

    • Scandalon says:

      Grey, my wife and I currently live in the states, but are looking at visiting, if not living there. (Probably Borneo though…) if we’re able to visit soon, I’ll take you up on the offer. ;)

    • Midboss says:

      I … am inclined to disagree about Creative Assembly fighting the good fight.

      Don’t get me wrong, I love the hell out of Shogun 2, having logged over 120 hours in it. But the bugs are inexcusable. I am only in it for the coop campaign, and every campaign after around 20 turns, we end up having to swap our ( ~50 MB ) saves every 5-10 turns.

      I can understand there being bugs .. but what irks me is that the save game corruption bug was already in Napoleon: TW’s cooperational campaign. Hundreds of players complained, yet it never got adressed .. and now it even plagues the sequel.

      Then … their tendency of making promises which they consistently not meet, their patches which arguably cause more issues than they solve…( The DX11 patch doubled the allready lenghty loading times for me, and my system is arguably one of the fastest you can build atm ) I know that development is difficult, having worked on some smaller game projects myself, but I truly truly wish that CA would be granted more time to refine their games, seeing as they actually have a reputation for releasing games that are almost unplayable at launch. ( Yet somehow still manage to get 9/10 from reviewers? )

      Other than the CA thing – I agree with everything else ( except i can’t rate Witcher 2 – have not played it yet. )

  5. trjp says:

    This is weird, 5 months down and NOTHING in my GoTY list so far…

    Dirt3 is great but it’s just not QUITE leapt-out as a new game, it’s really more Dirt2+

    Portal2 – might come into the frame when I get into co-op, the solo was just a BIT too easy for my tastes…

    Upcoming? Nothing really leaping at me thusfar – have my eyes on Dungeon Siege III and Confetti Carnival – oh and the new Beat Hazard (a strong runner-up last year).

    Hell it might end up being Terraria if I could just find some time for it…

  6. Junch says:

    Absolutely! Just got a new PC because I couldn’t run Witcher 2 in all its glory T_T And upcoming titles like Rage, Deus Ex: HR, and BF3.
    So I got this (:
    Intel i7-2600 3.4Ghz
    Sapphire ATI Radeon HD6950 2GB
    Seasonic 660W Power
    8GB DDR5
    1TB HDD
    23″ LCD monitor

    Hope it’ll last awhile. And boy, does Dirt 3 look gorgeous on it.

  7. Bureaucrat says:

    When I get the promotion that my bosses have said I’ll get just as soon as the uppity-ups release the entity-wide hold on promotions, I’m planning an upgrade on the (relatively unchanged) rig I assembled in 2007. I have adequate savings to do so now, but don’t really feel comfortable (read: able to justify to the wife) with such a large luxury purchase until after the promotion & raise is official.

    Unless DLC count, I haven’t yet played any major titles that were released in 2011. I want to get Shogun (but I’ve played TW games as minimum specs before and would rather wait for the new system), Witcher 2 (sub-minimum specs), and Portal 2 (eventual discount buy, as the first one was fun but gave me motion sickness if played for more than 45 minutes in a sitting). Been biding my time with New Vegas, Civ 5, and various older titles that I never got around to or felt like replaying. I played the DA2 demo, which was quite enough of that for me. I guess that makes my GotY for 2011 Fallout: New Vegas: Dead Money. A lovely bit of Chris Avellonosity. Although if I ever get around to multiplayer Magicka, that could easily take the cake.

  8. MattM says:

    1. Best game so far is Portal 2, but it isn’t really goty material. I tend to play games 6 months to 2 years after they come out so my favorite game payed this year was STALKER: CoP: Complete.
    2. Bought 2x GTX 570’s and a Silverstone Raven RV02w-e to keep them cool. I got them so I could play Metro 2033, STALKER, and Crysis with higher graphics settings.

  9. Adam says:

    Crysis 2 so far from what I’ve played GOTY 2011. Just upgraded from 4 Gigs of DDR3 RAM to 10 Gigs, things (not necessarily games) are smother now for sure.

  10. Blackseraph says:

    Witcher 2 is definitely my GOTY for now.

    Also I just bought new computer. Should be good enough for years.

  11. Stormbane says:

    I’ve played the witcher 2 and portal 2 and terraria but I can’t help but feel the best game I’ve played all year is AC2:Brotherhood.

    That was a great game.

  12. Midboss says:

    My current game of the year would be Frozen Synapse – I have unending love for indie games that are deep and smart. I still can’t get over how great AI War is either and Frozen Synapse gives me the same “this game is soooo awesome” feeling.

    Do I expect it to last for the entire year ? Probably not. I tend to change my game of choice fairly fast ( get obsessed with a game for 1-2 weeks, get a bit tired of it, get obsessed with the next game … )

    The game that I expect might topple Frozen Synapse would be Deus Ex: HR. I considered Terraria, but frankly, I don’t like the building mechanics too much. The blocks just feel too small, so even with good tools, progress seems too .. slow. I like that it has more “game” in it, but after playing it for about 12 hours I have attained almost all gear, all items and feel like I have seen the majority of what the game has to offer.

    I recently upgraded my computer with a GTX 580. Not so much because I needed more power, but rather because I felt my dual 295’s were running too hot, especially with summer coming up.

  13. Big Murray says:

    Quite honestly, I don’t understand how anyone could choose The Witcher 2 in a year which has produced the kind of quality game that Portal 2 is. TW2 has a list of serious flaws the length of my arm, while Portal 2 is (I don’t think I’m wrong in saying) the most polished video game experience we’ve ever had.

    And this is really, really annoying me, because I’m a long-time RPG fan, and everything about what people say about The Witcher suggests that I should want to make sweet sweet love to it … but I just don’t get it. They’re abominations of gaming and narrative design in my eyes, that as much as I’ve tried I can’t extract any enjoyment out of, from storyline nor gameplay. And everyone acts like I’m a leper for believing these things. Madness.

  14. Bungle says:

    Shogun 2 is my favorite game so far. I normally hate strategy games because they force me to keep track of 50 different things at a time. That feels more like work than gaming. Shogun 2 has a good interface though. I don’t have to remember every detail because the interface is intelligent enough to let me sort through all my units the way I want. Hard to explain, but it works. And I feel like I’m better at Shogun 2 than I’ve ever been at an RTS or TBS game before.

  15. mashakos says:

    2007 was the year I started getting a really good income, I spent that year and 2008 experimening HEAVILY to build an overclocked watercooled HTPC that can take full hardware. After a custom metal cutting mod, an unusual water loop design, 3 motherboard changes (one burnt out), 4 sets of ram changes and 3 cpu changes I finally came upon the perfect configuration.
    4.00Ghz Core 2 Duo E8400, 4GB ram overclocked to 1Ghz, Asus Maximus Formula, full watercooling kit – all in a tiny HTPC case.
    So proud of it :D
    link to img19.imageshack.us
    link to img705.imageshack.us

    I upgraded the graphics card from a gtx280 to a gtx580 out of curiosity (wanted to see what Metro 2033 looked like in all it’s glory), and got an SSD because of all the hoopla (for good reason, it made a huge difference), but other than that I was already getting absolutely ridiculous performance on a design that I actually like in contrast to the bunker sized PC’s that are popular nowadays. A quad SLI (4 graphics cards) dual cpu core i7 double-headed dragon computer system would yield higher performance than my system, but past the standard 60fps performance level I don’t really care. Especially when that performance level is maintained on my system even at my monitor’s full 2560×1600 resolution.

    Except for Crysis ;)

  16. MerseyMal says:

    1) The Witcher 2 – though Portal 2 comes a close second. I suspect Arkham Asylum and Human Revolution with give TW2 a run for its money though.

    2) No, but I only got a new PC in September last year, which should be satisfactory for now.

  17. Tom Camfield says:

    1. Oh, of course, DIE2NITE; I led a whole settlement, got us to build everything in the right order, survived for ages… in the end we couldn’t find enough nuts and bolts to get enough defense for the next raid…

    Blight of the Immortals was also good, but they were still messing around with the difficulty at the time, so it was incredibly easy… DOW Dark Crusade taught me how to Rush in RTSs but that might be from before Christmas… I’d guess that ME2 might be my GOTY if it’s cheap in the sales…

    2. Nope. I have a Mac, so the next upgrade won’t be until after all the new consoles are released. Until then you can’t guarantee that your purchase will be future proof over the next (usually stable) console life cycle.

    • mashakos says:

      “the next upgrade won’t be until after all the new consoles are released. Until then you can’t guarantee that your purchase will be future proof over the next (usually stable) console life cycle.”
      Agreed. My configuration from 2006 is still viable today, but anything before that would have been instantly obsolete with the release of the xbox360/ps3.
      To contrast:
      My 2006 upgrade: Intel Core 2 Duo E6600, 2GB ddr2 ram, nvidia geforce 8800gtx
      highest end 2005 machine: Intel Pentium 4 EE ($1000) or Athlon64 FX ($2000), xxGB ddr2 ram, nvidia geforce 7900 GX2
      If you look at my 2006 config, it’s directx 10 capable with a decent multi core processor while the 2005 config is only dx9 with half the performance of an Intel Conroe processor.

  18. YourMessageHere says:

    I’ve not bought any 2011 games so far; I want Portal 2 but can’t justify the purchase. Will probably get it when it hits a sale. Not a fan of fantasy games, so skipped The Witcher series; however, seeing a friend play, I may change my mind on that score, it seems highly detailed and what I see of the universe/story suggests it’s not wasting the literary heritage, as things like this usually do. Another candidate for ‘wait for the sales’, I think. I will be getting Deus Ex Human Revolution, though. Also sorely tempted by Frozen Synapse.

    I’ve played huge amounts of Black Ops (stop that; I play multiplayer only, and hardcore only, and have no interest in the whole ‘prestige’ thing, so it’s actually a game of skill and me enjoying the gameplay, not endless and meaningless ranking up) and really enjoyed Mass Effect 2 when I got that not long ago.

    I keep considering getting another hard disc. Another thing I keep wondering is if there’s any point in getting Windows 7 (so far I’ve been unable to play exactly 2 games I kind of fancied, Shattered Horizon and Just Cause 2 – an acceptable loss in my book. Otherwise, XP does nothing wrong, and I know how to tame it, whereas Win7 I don’t know or particularly like, but will one day need to deal with, I dare say). Other than that, my only reason for upgrades/rebuilds is catastrophe.

    • gengus88 says:

      Don’t be afraid, Windows 7 is good, actually really good. As a native Mac person, i was shocked that MS got their arse’s in line and actually put out a nominally good interface. Worth it.

  19. akeripper says:

    ill prepare to die in a fire…….. but my goty so far is pc wise is dragon age 2, but then i have not played portal 2….
    upgrade wise: from ati 4670 to ati 6850 and phII 550 to ph II 955

  20. gengus88 says:

    What say you about gaming on a Mac running Bootcamp and Windows 7? My now 3 year old MBP with a 8200M has been running it beautifully though the most I’ve taxed it is with Mass Effect 2, which seemed to run fineish… Any thoughts. Especially with the new ones coming out with the i7 and much better graphics cards. I actually think that Apple took notice when Valve started treating it as a tier one platform and are working to get into that market.

    Blah blah blah they aren’t easily upgradable, which isn’t really true, I’ve replaced both the HD and the RAM in my Macbook Pro, no sweat really. Plus the perform brilliantly.

    Thoughts?

    • mashakos says:

      wow, I have a 2010 17″ macbook pro running Windows 7 on bootcamp and I never had the impression that it ran games beautifully. It’s a 2.9ghz with 4GB ram, a 128GB ssd and the nvidia 9600mgt chip.
      It runs Left 4 Dead well enough at 1080p on the highest settings, but a lot of the graphics intensive games have to be bumped down to medium in order to run. NFS Shift is a good example, to run the game well I either had to settle for 720p resolution (and keep the high gfx settings) or set everything to medium in order to play at 1080p.

      I might be spoiled by my HTPC gaming rig, but I don’t enjoy gaming on the MBP. I bought it for mobile Objective-C development anyway.

  21. Gvaz says:

    Witcher 2. I haven’t played Portal 2 and thought Portal 2 “alright”.

    If DXHR is good, maybe that might dethrone it, but Skyrim will be typical bethdesia shit, and diablo 3 will be Torchlight 2, and BF3 wont play on my pc prolly (never did like teamwork shooters anyways) and TOR will be an awful boring WoW clone with a ME dialogue wheel that will make no difference on anything because Bioware.

    You heard it here first.

  22. stilzchen says:

    Game of the year is Spacechem for me in terms of enjoyment if not hours played. I fully expect Skyrim to unseat it.

    Due to most games being multiplatform and undemanding these days I haven’t felt the need to upgrade for a few years. The Witcher 2 is the first game that has really pushed my system, will move across from my 5 year old C2D to a i5 2500k just in time for Skryim if the funds are there. Keen on getting a SSD too.