Monday, September 22, 2008

PC GAMING - Overview

Aha, yes. My favorite subject.

First off, I'll admit I am prejudice toward PC gaming as opposed to Console gaming.

My personal hardware definitions:

  • PC Gaming

    • The Platform (hardware) is a PC

    • Games are written to optimize the use of keyboard and mouse controls

    • I do not include games that are optimized for use of a Game Controller on a PC

  • Console Gaming

    • The Platform is usually a Console (examples, PlayStation or XBox), but on occasion can be a PC

    • Games are written to optimize the use of Game Controllers, this includes those games on a PC

Just what are classes do PC Games (and others) fall into? Again, my personal view:


  • This class of games does overlap into all the others. In general you (your Avatar) goes through an adventure where you are to accomplish a goal, mission, or quest. Think a movie script where you control the main character (hero).

    Your Avatar is "virtual user representation" within a game.

    A "pure" Adventure game MAY include solving puzzles. One prime example is the Myst series. In most of these games you play as a single hero or character, and you do not have may options to customize him/her/it. Character customizing, if allowed, is usually restricted to name, gender, appearance.

    Other examples of this class are the Nancy Drew Mystery Games, and the CSI game series.

    There is one drawback, in my opinion; these games are not often interesting to replay. Once you have solved the puzzles or mystery, playing them again MAY be boring to some. You can try to improve scores (like in the CSI games), but that's about it. What I do, is leave them alone for quite awhile before replaying.


  • As stated, these have many elements of Adventure Games. The main differentiating feature is heavy dependence on action; jumping, climbing, swinging on ropes, tumbling, etc. These also include driving cars, skiing, surfing, sports (Madden Football), and more.

    These games usually are best played using a Game Controller. I have found one exception, that MAY be considered in this class, that works very well with keyboard and mouse, Assassin's Creed. This game is outstanding using keyboard and mouse.


  • This class of games is #1 on my list.

    These do overlap into Adventure Games in a big way. The main differentiating feature is the ability to choose and customize characters. They also relay heavily on Dungeon & Dragon (D&D) rules. These rules assign numerical points to various characteristics of your character and are used to advance (level-up) during the game.

    In RPG you choose from a range of characters; type/race, class, gender, appearance, and more. You also have the ability to assign points to various skills and abilities at game start and during the game as you level-up (gets you more points).


    • Strength - how strong your character is effects maximum weight he can carry and how hard are his blows with weapons like swords, axes, hammers, etc.

    • Agility - how your well character can jump, tumble, etc. Effects how well he can avoid blows from attackers.

    • Personality - how well others (NPC, Non-Player Character) react to you. Can effect your bargaining skill or ability to extract answers to your questions in conversation dialogs.

    • Intelligence - self explanatory, can effect your magic ability or ease of learning new skills (via use of a skill or from a Trainer NPC).

    I have my favorites: Elder Scrolls series (Morrowind & Oblivion), Eschalon, F.E.A.R., Far Cry, Doom 3, Soldier of Fortune 2, Quake 4, BioShock, Splinter Cell (only the first 3), Assassin's Creed (mentioned above, and note the overlap to Action Games).

    One thing I really like about the Elder Scrolls Morrowind & Oblivion, is these games are open-ended and in an open-world (especially Oblivion).

    "Open-ended" means that you do not have to complete quests in a prescribed order. You can run any quest (Main Quest, Sub-Quest, or Misc Quest) in any order, even run several at the same time. Not only that, you do NOT have to complete the Main Quest at all. I use completing the Main Quest as a way to complete/close the character I'm playing before starting with a new character.

    Open-world means that there are few boundaries within the Game World. You can roam about anywhere you wish; and there are many, many places to visit and some have nothing to do with a specific quest-line.

    Morrowind RPG takes place in 3 locations within the Province of Morrowind. Oblivion RPG takes place in the entire Province of Cyrodiil.

    The Elder Scrolls Game World:


  • This class of games consists of simulating something. Examples; Flight/Ship Simulators, society simulators (SIM City general society, Age of Empires war, etc.). These also include sport games as mentioned above.

    The idea is you (the player) actually manipulate your environment, both physical and societies. These games can be almost endless, depending on just how long you want to play (SIM City) or how long you survive (Age of Empires). The Flight or Ship simulators are self explanatory, but note that some are actually used in professions as trainers.


  • This class of games are #2 on my list.

    FPS = First Person Shooter, your view is seeing through the character's eyes. You usually only see what weapon you are holding.

    TPS = Third Person Shooter, your view is seeing via a "camera" over the character's shoulder (follow-me camera) or other location.

    And the term Shooter is self explanatory.

    There IS a big overlap with Adventure & RPG, although there is an on-going "discussion" as to if FPS games are really RPG (from RPG purest out there).

    This can be seen from my favorites: F.E.A.R., Far Cry, Doom 3, Soldier of Fortune 2, Quake 4, BioShock, Splinter Cell, and Assassin's Creed.

    These games are sometimes referred to as hack-and-slash games (so are some RPG) for obvious reasons. They do tend to be very bloody. They also can be very intense; like when you play Doom 3 in the dark, with a good Surround Sound system. Like jump-out-of-your-seat intense.

    What I like to do is find different ways to carry out a "mission" or just do better. Far Cry for example, I am deadly at one mile with the Sniper Rifle.

As noted in the inaugural post here, I have over 760gb of hard drive space on my home system, but only 80gb taken up by serious (non-gaming) applications + WinXP Pro SP3. So, yes, I'm a big-time PC gamer.

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