Over the last couple of months I’ve been researching the new computer I’ve been wanting for years and years, partly explaining my absence around here lately. You hear that Mat C? Research. Y’know, legwork, toil, hardship. None of your blatant lifting nonsense.
Anyway, the other week after finalising my build, ordering the parts and receiving them, I set about building the thing. Several hours and a couple of hiccups later I was the proud owner of a brand new custom built (nearly) silent PC that now runs pretty much anything I throw at it. At one point I had two versions of Magicka running simultaneously without realising, and without hitch. So ‘yay!’ would be an understatement.
The last brand new machine I owned was bought for me during my second year of university which was nearly ten years ago. That machine was given to my parents some time after university and has since been replaced with something more appropriately sized for their living room. For the last few years I’ve had a titanic steel monolith of dust and noise handed down by my brother which has punched well above its weight considering its age, but still lacked the sort of clout that I was really beginning to need.
So for a long time I put off playing certain games knowing very well that my old system would’ve struggled with them. That restriction slowly conditioned me into pretty much outright ignoring any PC game more graphically intensive than Left 4 Dead 2. Given how little time I have these days to sink the sort of hours I once did into my favourite past-time, that restriction was welcome in a level-headed sort of way. “It won’t run on my computer” was a phrase holding back the horde; a horde clamouring at boarded doors and windows. Well now they’re inside and — whoa, would you look at that — they’re hungry for the morsels of time I don’t have.
Here’s a brief and obviously incomplete list of games I’m looking forward to playing on my new rig in the indeterminate future: S.T.A.L.K.E.R. – Clear Sky and Call of Pripyat, Bioshock 2, Metro 2033, Bulletstorm, Fallout 3 and/or New Vegas, Crysis and/or Warhead, Mount & Blade: Warband, Lara Croft and The Guardian of Light, Brink, Shogun 2, Freespace 1/2 Open.
On top of all this is the usual slew of indie games, oldies, outside possibilities and impulse plays. Frozen Synapse has just been released which gives me no other option than to give Steerpike a good panning. At the very least he can abuse his grenadiers some more. Revenge of the Titans’ identity crisis is over, emerging as an altogether different beast to what I played late last year. Sony has just parted the clouds and delivered the beautiful Wipeout HD— sorry, WipEout HD — plus the Fury expansion and Dead Nation unto me, for free. Then there’s Terraria which Armand coaxed me into playing (yes you did Armand). And Portal 2 co-op with Joel Goodwin over at Electron Dance (home to the best review on the internet of it). I’d also forgotten about Stacking seeing as the PSN went down on the evening I was going to buy it. This is just the tip of the hulking, ever-expanding iceberg.
And what about future releases? Battlefield 3? Skyrim? Human Revolution? It’ll be fantastic to play these on release rather than having to board myself in for a change; breathing in the zeitgeist rather than following around a stale lingering whiff of it. But my concern is the time it’ll take to even dent this lot, the usual web-surfing and house-keeping aside. I’ve never had it so good really but, blimey, it’s all a bit overwhelming.
Oh and we’re cruising through summer, and you know what comes after the word ‘summer’.
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