PC games are doomed.
No, really, it’s gonna be I cop it every day now. In fact, it may even be out of date by the time you read this introduction. After all, people have been predicting his demise for 20 years now – it’s all this piracy, that expensive hardware, the allure of this niche, the compatibility issues that … Oh, shuddup. PC games are going nowhere.
The platform is infinitely adaptable, it goes hand in hand with the emergence of casual, ad-supported, subscription-based gaming, and has a back catalog several hundred orders of magnitude larger than other gaming systems. In terms of that excellent back catalog, the PC is currently undergoing two very important changes that can save it from the impotence of dusty floppy disks and pop-up infected abandonware sites.
To begin with on the most obvious – but, in some ways, least interesting – point, let’s talk action games. The earliest first-person shooter was the 1973 Maze War, but it was the ID 1991 Catacomb 3D software fantasy shooter that really gave birth to the form as we know it. Until then, we didn’t even get a hand on the screen reinforcing the sense that the player is the character of the game. From that came Wolfenstein 3D and Doom and – well, you know the rest. The point between then and now contains lost magic.
The 1994 Marathon is a great example. One of the earliest games by future Halo creators Bungle, while this doesn’t prove breakout success on PC, it was one of the first post-Doom FPS games to introduce elements beyond repeatedly shooting monsters in the face. Al’s friendly character, alternate fire mode, co-op play, swimming and, above all, the strong layered plot (which was the main inspiration for System Shock and Halo, among others) make it a completely more mature affair than Doom-a-likes. other. Although its superior sequel Durandol is the only Marathon game to see an official Windows release, Bungee now offers a free version of all three Mac versions of the installment, which fans should port to PC. Download the link and setup guide that lurks www.calormen.com/mwd.htm.
Recently, the likes of Oblivion and S.T.A.L.K.E.R owe a huge debt to UU and its single sequel, but fans feel it has never done better. Make up your own mind with one of the various remakes at tinyurl.com/3yzvz8.
Two years later, System Shock first did things with environmental interactions – stacking boxes to form ladders to higher ground, for example – which most games don’t even offer today. While you should have your own moral dilemma about whether you should download the Shock version of the so-called ‘abandonware’, it’s worth mentioning that there’s a nearly complete fan project that keeps it running happily under modern Windows and with improved graphics at tinyurl.com/ 2sc5n9. Or, if you want a really harsh and foul-mouthed alternative to this more cerebral FPS + magic, Earthquake 2 1999 Power Kingpin: Life Of Crime sports branching dialogue, gun trade and NPC friends who can be recruited alongside the blood-feed granny ‘n ‘hurt.
While it doesn’t offer the freedom of Fallout or Ultimo VII, it’s arguably an old RPG to play if you haven’t is Planescape: Torment 1999. A beautifully written tale of guilt, identity, and arrogance that will tear your heart, stamped on it over and over again later roughly pushing it back into your crushed rib, it’s a game about words more than deeds. About 800,000 of them. There is nothing else like Planescape, and that is the subject of any discussion of game narrative.
Stepping sideways into strategy, once again you have Battlezone combining FPS, RTS and military sim, or amazing totally unique Sacrifices (e.g. spell: ‘cow intervention’) boldly mixing action, roleplaying, comedy and a thousand ideas new-a-minute alongside more familiar real-time strategy tropes. The two of them threw experimental challenges no one else dared to take up. On the more tactical side of the coin is Syndicate, from the lost but unforgettable British uber developer Bullfrog – the still immoral real-time squad tactics game that makes GTA look like a Theme Park.
Peter Molyneux has been mumbling about reviving Syndicate’s satirical dystopia of corporate oppression and violence, but until (if ever) that happens, there’s a fan remake of the work, whose first tier is now complete, at freesynd.sourceforge.net.
More RTS nostalgiah conventional is probably best served by Starcraft – still a template for an ultra-balanced multiplayer strategy with different playable races, not only colored clones differ from each other – and Dune 2, father of commander and conqueror, and even today surprisingly far forward in terms of offering compelling narrative explanations for resource pooling and the war. There’s an impressive free remake of the last on d2tm.duneii.com.