I am a hard critic when it comes to computer games.
I feel almost entitled to this view. I have been playing computer games since I was ten years old, and have played more games and game types than I can remember. Every new game I play gets compared to every game that came before. I have seen and played a great deal, so it takes something exceptional to get my attention. If the game isn't new and original in its gameplay, or if it fails to exceed the standards of its genre, I am more than likely going to be censorious. I don't see this as a negative or jaded outlook. Consoles have their place but, without any disrespect to console games, PC games are a higher art form, and it is why we still have such a strong market despite the console's growth. Being firmly critical is a positive, healthy outlook.
Our investment is the most apparent reason for why it's OK to be harsh. Not just an investment of money, but also time. In constructing their rig, even the most frugal PC gamer will spend close to twice the cost of any leading console. Even when I have been at my most fragile financial state, I have found ways to invest significant funds into upgrading and to maintain my gaming computer. We do this because we want the best experience. We are early adopters and overclockers in a symbiotic relationship as pioneers in the digital art multi-medium. We are not satisfied with the easy limitation of a console. We want a-hundred-and-seven different programmable buttons and modded content, and graphics that push the boundaries of the latest hardware.
We have borne the brunt of trial and error for decades now in the way of bugs and patches.
I still laugh when I hear someone complain that they have to wait for a game's auto-update to finish. I am just as guilty, but I also remember when getting the patch for your game required waiting till your magazine subscription came in the mail with a disc of updates, or bringing a zip drive up to the college computer lab and hoping you could find it on the internet. I can make concessions for indie studios with a single programmer, but for years we have been subject to the major studio's rush to make launch windows. Does anyone remember the time Heroes of Might and Magic series released a game with no multiplayer, but instead a note stating a patch will be released later on enabling the feature? (Then again, there is the more recent reception of No Man's Sky…) It has become so common that we expect it. It is not unusual to hear the phrase, "I'm sure they will patch that eventually," when encountering a common problem in a computer game.
Everyone has put in their time and investment, and we expect the best.
To the game makers of the world: if your multiplayer is broken, or your controls are janky, or your load screens too long, or your dialogue misspelled, or your music a lazy afterthought, I will come down hard. I have seen greatness, and that is the scale on which I grade. PC Gamers have a refined pallet, and we know when you can do better. It's not that I hate your game. I love PC games, and when I see something fail to live up to it's potential, I care deeply. It's why Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket Powered Battle Cars is mediocre, and Rocket League is near perfect. If you give too much leniency to games that are only mediocre, you do a disservice to the games and yourself. I champion the cause of a firm hand and hope you will too.
The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the views of The Overpowered Noobs, LLC.