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The Bioshock Occlusion

posted on August 23rd, 2007 by Don

HateComputer

My PC is stout. A 3.2ghz Quad core, 8gb RAM, GeForce 7950 SLI (x2) beast with a raptor managing triple boot, 2tb of SATA storage and a 1000 watt PSU to keep the cheesy blue cathodes and 8 case fans humming wildly in PC mod rapture. I can run any game at any resolution (yes, even with the months old 7950s) at hundreds of FPS. It makes little girls cry, old men shit themselves and, if the moon is just right, can grab hold of the minds of all within a forty block radius and twist them to my devious desires.

So I guess it only makes sense then that I bought Bioshock for the 360.

I was given a choice, you see. The PC version was right there next to the xBox version on the special Bioshock end-cap at my local blue-shirt-crap-shack. The hardware requirements were paltry in light of the aforementioned rig and I have long held that the only way an FPS can be properly played is with a mouse and keyboard, or keyboard analogue. Why then did I choose the 360 disc?

This choice represents a turning point for me. It actually, I believe, may be representative of a turning point for many adult gamers. Not Bioshock specifically, but any major release loosed on both a major console and the PC.

In actuality the choice came down to ease of use. I have been working fairly long hours recently and would like to just drop in the disc, plop down on the couch and kick some Big Daddy ass. I’ve tested the ‘ease of use’ theory on a few forums and was met with an immediacy of flame not unlike a flash forest fire. Somehow playing it on the 360 takes away my hardcore status; with the PC gamers, that is. They hold that it is just as easy to plop the disc in to the beast and load her up on my dual 21s. I hold that this is absolute bullshit. There is install, resolution flux,DRM, server reg… all of those things I used to put up with for the ‘hardest of the hardcore’ moniker. They all take time, man. Too much time. Time I could be using to blast splicers!

The fact of the matter is that gaming is more accessible to the console user. Luckily I can geek out to Crysis, when it comes out, in fully ridiculous PC glory, but what does that actually get me in the end?

I leave you with a philosophical question I have been bandying about with:

Have you ever owned a gamepad for your PC? Deep down inside – really deep down – didn’t you wish it just plain worked? Doesn’t your console?

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6 Comments

  1. jay said on August 23, 2007:

    The PC versus console war is an ancient war. I always sided with consoles because of their ease of use, lack of little issues (what, Radeon cards don’t work with Civ 4 yet? Fuck you, Sid Meier!) and the affordability of not replacing components every few years.

    Of course there are many excellent PC games. It hurts me that I’ve missed many of them but overall I stand by my choice of console over PC.

    I am glad you are now also impatient enough to see the folly of PC games, Don. But besides the time it takes to boot up the PC, there is another crucial separation between the two ways of gaming. This may be very subjective, but there is a feeling of “gaming” missing on the PC. It just never feels exactly right. The lack of this feeling compels me to not emulate console games on my PC yet stupidly spend money on VC games.

    Fine, so a feeling of “gaming” is a retarded and vague argument. I still bet many people know what I mean.

  2. don said on August 23, 2007:

    I actually have to disagree with you on the ‘feeling of gaming’ aspect.

    I play Quake2, UT (original) and a few other ‘workstation capable’ games with my co-workers 3 nights a week.

    The feeling is *unmatched* by anything consoles have yet presented to me.

    It is literally the ability to drop my bag, hit the ‘xBox’ button on my harmony and just play that sells it for me.

    I hold that both platforms are valid. This isn’t actually an argument for either side – more a ‘coming of age’ story about a PC gamer boy’s first realization that an adult gamer can choose both sides and not risk anything.

  3. jay said on August 23, 2007:

    Everything is about sides and my side is always right!

    It could be that games originally made for one never feel as good on the other and since I have spent more time trying to play console games in emulators than playing PC ports I am jaded in that particular way.

  4. christian said on August 23, 2007:

    The “Feeling of Gaming” on PC is there, but I find it comes so much more from online play, which I still say is king on PC. Even voice chat seems more tolerable there than on Xbox live.

    The question about joypads leads to an interesting story. I have found a solution that “just plain works”. Its a Playstation 2 to USB converter. The drivers it came with work fine, and I can now use a Dual Shock, 6 button pad, or joystick with pretty much everything. It has literally changed the way I use Gametap (I use it much, much more now) for instance.

    The moral of the story? I had to look to console peripherals to improve my PC gaming experience, and the drivers work because they fake the PC into believing its a “generic vibration controller”, AKA a Dual Shock ripoff. The only way my PC peripherals “Just work” is because they mimic (and use) console controllers.

  5. Matt said on August 23, 2007:

    And you have it easier than most people, don. The bulk of PC gamers, I would assume, don’t have computers that can run every game at every resolution. Take me, for example. When Half-Life 2 came out, I sat at my computer for like 2 hours trying to get the best possible picture and fps with my PC. Should I reduce the AA to only 4x to get a jump in fluidity, or maybe I should max out the AA out, but lower the texture quality to medium instead of high. It was a fucking pain in the ass.

    Then I upgraded a few specs, and most of it could be maxed out. I then found myself not caring at all about the visual specs. But now the new games are coming out, and I have to do that same shit all over again.

    I think now that most consoles can do PC-like graphics, I find myself putting PC games on the back-burner until I purchase a new one in a year or two. I did originally contemplate getting BioShock for the PC, to make the game more involving when you’re two feet away from the screen, but it would have taken too much to get it to run properly. So fuck it.

  6. Tyson said on August 23, 2007:

    Lets not even delve into the fact that the PC version of Bioshock is also buggier than shit and the nutty DRM supposedly only lets you install it twice on the same machine. That alone would make me want the 360 version.

    As for the gamepad, I have and use one quite regularly for my PC with my emulators and it works great.

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