How to Play: Delayed
So, this is the first proper post I have. Just a quick bit about myself. I’m an Upper Sixth student who’s been playing games for about 10 years now. So I’m probably a young whippersnapper to most gamers. But dammit, I enjoy gaming. And thats what games are for right? So, I’ve been playing for a while, and over the past few weeks have spent some time at Gaming Daily, reading and thinking “Why the hell am I not doing this? If someone who doesn’t even seem like a professional journalist can run a blog that good, maybe I should give it a go’. Which I am. And here is the result.
And now, on to the point. As a sad deprived student, I need a quick geek humour fix every now and again. Que xkcd.com, on which I stumbled upon this comic. Now, in all seriousness, could this work? There is a very good point made here. You can still see the games progression that everyone else sees, just with a big lag behind it. And you also get to save yourself a large amount. A massive amount sometimes. Lets take Red Faction Guerilla as an example, since its the only recent release I can think about. Are we all agreed that this RRPs at £40? Yes? Good. Now, lets take the original Red Faction’s price. I’ll check my emails while you go find an average price for it? Got one? £5 sound about right? It might be cheaper depending on where you look, but £5 seems about right for now. So, assuming that the current release will follow the old one (also assuming every game does this), you’d save yourself £35 each time. Even if something gets released at £30, you would be still saving yourself £25 a time. So I dunno, lets take a nice round percentage like 70% on each game purchase.
The other consequence of following this is of course that you don’t need to spend your savings on an amazing machine. Every clever system builder knows to buy the previous best graphics cards, instead of the current, seeing as the prices will crash in 6 months time when the next one gets released, saving themselves a fortune. My current machine was bought in the back end of 2008, and I have a Radeon 4800 in it. My brother bought himself an nVidia260 for his machine at the same time. His card cost £100 more than mine. I don’t notice any particular difference in the quality of the games. Just that he’s spent more than me. Even Vista’s wonderful system spec scanner only gave his card .1 more than mine. In the context of this, you don’t need the previous series for your amazing graphics. You can get away with the ones 5 years old. Those would have been the best at the time of release, and if we’re honest, cost tuppence. Mainly, because they are obselete. Nobody wants them. Crysis 10 needs the latest card to even think about crashing properly. We don’t even need to go down the route of RAM and all that do we? You can just copy that last paragraph in your heads and change the words? Good. So, a top machine at the time of the games release would cost £600. Now, that same machine costs about half that. We’re now getting into the realms of saving £300, with £25 saved per game. We could even go down the route of how much you’d save on energy costs, but then I’d be talking bollocks.
I can even think of other advantages. You can filter out a whole load of substandard crap. You don’t need to spend that hard earned £5 on that crap game, if you’ve heard about it. Thats what the games journalism industry exists for right? To recommend to you what to buy. Yes, you might not agree with someone about the game, and you may end up playing it anyway (I played Army Men out of spite. Just because everyone else says its crap, doesn’t mean I have to hate it), but you can also take out even more rubbish. We’ve all dropped £40 on a game that then turned out to have been one of the worst purchases of our life. Off the top of my head, I can’t think of anything, but you all know you have done it.
So what is there to lose from playing behind eveyone else? Apart from falling behind the jokes and the current developments, what could possibly go wrong? Well, the biggest problem is multiplayer games. Load up UT2003. If you don’t have it, I can tell you now that you will not find many servers to play on. UT2004 has taken quite a beating thanks to the release of UT3. If we go with the 5 year rule, then now would be the time to start playing UT2003. And you could only play the singleplayer. Lets be honest, we play bots if we want to feel awesome, and one of the best gamers in the world. Once you go online, you realise how much you actually suck. There are some exceptions of course. I believe Battlefield 2 has a whole load of servers still running, even after the release of 2142, so you could feel quite happy with that. I’ve not ever taken 1942 online, but I have a feeling that there might still be a fair few servers running now.
I could have a quick rant about DRM killing this idea, but then I wouldn’t have anything to write next week, so I’ll leave that to one side. Suffice to say, shutting down the activation servers (They can’t be THAT expensive to run, surely?) would render a game unplayable, nay uninstallable. I will say that you could end up hearing spoilers. I know I’d have a field day with spoilers if my friends were doing this (‘Hey Tom, you know that at the end of Bioshock, you find out tha-‘ ‘NOOOOO! DON’T TELL ME!’).
So what do I suggest. I suggest this new way to play. Play singleplayer games 3 years behind everyone else. You shouldn’t look like too much of an idiot when you tell everyone that the cake is a lie. Actually, yeah you will. Thats always going to happen. But thats an aside. Yes, you will look like an idiot. But thats by the by. Play STALKER, HL2 and Oblivion 3 years after release, and they’ll have a chance to finish it properly. But all the multiplayer greats like Team Fortress 2, Left 4 Dead and Battlefield, play with the rest of the world. You need the social contact sometimes.