As much as PC gaming hardware has changed and improved over the years, there’s always been one constant: the limitations of disk space. Granted, it’s far cheaper and easier (no more absurdly tiny Master/Slave toggles) than it used to be to grab a new hard drive, but the rise of ever-faster but more expensive SSDs set things back a bit in that regard. With new mainstream games regularly asking for as much as 30 Gigabytes I remain, as I always have, in a battle for space. Which means I’m constantly uninstalling half-finished stuff in order to make space for the next big thing. Sometimes it’s heartbreaking. But there’s a line. There are a few games I can never uninstall, because it would hurt too much. Granted, they change a little over the years – new ones come in, old ones finally, finally lose their lustre (or I give up entirely on the belief that I will ever go back), but here’s how that list of inviolable treasures looks right now.
There’s so much I never explored in this gloriously-written paen to oceanic doom, and that’s before it got updated with a string of extra locations and missions. The sea continues to call me, and it’s one of those games which is as much state of mind as actual activity. One day I shall go back. If I uninstall it, I’m saying that I won’t, and that would break my heart in two.
I thought its second DLC The Knife of Dunwall was by far the strongest slice of Arkane’s freeform assassinaction game, and was excited to see where else it might go with the narrative follow-up The Brigmore Witches. Alas, it was one of far too many games which arrived in the half-year following the birth of my daughter, the continued demands of whom mean that idly going back to fill in the gaps is sadly impossible. Damn, I want to though: a more nuanced and sympathetic leading man than the main game, the promise of new enemies, new mysteries and, best of all, more Dunwall, is irresistible. So, my self-set mission is to go play (and finish) Brigmore 2 before Dishonored 2 arrives. At a guess, I’ve six months.
X-COM: Enemy Unknown
Oh, come on. Like I’m ever, ever going to uninstall The Heart Of All PC Gaming.
(Pictured atop this post, FYI). My guiltiest gaming secret: I’ve only spent a little time with the third X-COM (and the only other one made by the series’ original creators), having bounced hard off its complexity and sprawl. I feel awful about this, and have for years pledged to do right by the Gollops. I know I am more patient and open-minded now, and more likely to get Apocalypse (or, at least, appreciate what it’s trying to do) than I was at the time. And so Apocalypse has sat on my hard drive for at least half a decade. One day. God help me, one day.
One of my go-to zen games, when I need to distract myself from the world but can’t bear the thought of any pressure in what I play. Truth be told, I don’t fire up Proteus anything like as often as I think about firing up Proteus, as simply conjuring its pastel fields from memory is highly effective in its own right.
I like Spelunky a lot, and admire it even more, but it’s one of those games I hit a skill wall in and lacked the constitution to push myself through. Still feels like I should, though, and to remove it would be an admission of defeat. As long as it’s on my hard drive, I’m in theory still playing it and thus don’t feel like quite such a wimp.
I have no real intention of going back to Skyrim, but the number of mods I have installed is close to triple figures and I’m terrified what might happen if I ever I did decide to return to my old save game and could not recreate the cat’s cradle of user-made add-ons I accrued over the years. There’d be a workaround. There’s always a workaround. Just in case there’s not, a bloated game all the more bloated by endless texture backs continues to reserve a huge slice of my poor hard drive.
Euro Truck Simulator 2: Scandinavia
I’ve done plenty of road trips through ETS2’s base game, but never had much of a chance to explore its DLC. My dream, if I ever have a weekend again, is to drive every mile I can of its Scandinavian add-on: the trees, the fjords, the snow, the quiet, the streets and bridges that evoke crime scenes from imported serial dramas on BBC 4.
Played the hell out of it in early access, but never got around to the release version. I must I must I must because I know it’s brilliant.
You don’t uninstall Quake III, because what are you saying about yourself if you do?
And you? What are yours?
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