December 16th, 2015, 23:01 Posted By: wraggster
Unlike the other gaming platforms we’ve been evaluating here at the end of the year, the PC’s been around for decades. Recently, the PC’s long legacy of openness and customisation has come into conflict with a mainstream that’s finally—finally—realised just how big of a deal PC gaming actually is.
By and large, the PC is in a great place. More PC games are coming out than ever, and most of them are even coming out at the same time as their console counterparts. As a result, the PC offers a front row seat to the industry’s heaviest hitters and cleverest indies. On top of that, the PC’s back catalogue is a formidable beast, a leviathan that even the most voracious players will never truly slay. New companies are polishing up and re-releasing classics like System Shock 2 and Baldur’s Gate as well, so incompatibility issues—while still present—are becoming less of a problem. (However, nobody’s been able to do that for No One Lives Forever yet, so actually I changed my mind; PC gaming is garbage.) You’ve also got more options than ever as to where you buy your games digitally, though Steam is pretty much a must.
“More,” as a concept, is among the sharpest double-edged swords. This year saw more games released on Steam—the biggest PC gaming service by a mile—than ever, many of which were… not super great. It’s a reflection of PC’s renewed relevance in the eyes of game-makers: everybody wants their game on services like Steam. While Valve has worked to improve tools that help people discover new games, plenty of high-quality stuff is still slipping through the cracks.
Moreover, programs like Steam Early Access see unfinished games make their way onto the service. Some, like dinosaur survival hit Ark: Survival Evolved, are great, but others launch in shoddy states and end up abandoned.
A handful of smaller games have still managed to rise to the top and become marquee PC attractions. In 2015, PC-first games like Ark: Survival Evolved, Cities: Skylines,Besiege, Undertale, and Darkest Dungeon go from relative obscurity to the top of the charts. They’re all must-plays, and many of them continue to grow and evolve thanks to updates and dedicated communities.
The PC modding scene both flourished and faltered in 2015. User-created additionstransformed big releases like Fallout 4, Grand Theft Auto V, The Witcher 3, andeven Star Wars Battlefront. They also added fascinating flavour to smaller games like Cities: Skylines, Ark: Survival Evolved, and Besiege. Oh, and they continued to keep all-but-abandoned games like Left 4 Dead 2 from completely going under.
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