Just recently, with the help of a friend whom I also work with. I moved from console gaming into the wild wild west of PC gaming and boy do I feel good about it. I have found a huge community of online players who seem to be much more welcoming, not to say that the console environment isn’t all warm and fuzzy, but there seems to be more of a barrier when it comes to the “community” in console gaming.
One of the biggest plus points about PC gaming is Steam. I had heard of Steam but never really felt like it was a place that I wanted to be, or belong to, considering I have always been a console jockey. Steam in essence is a one-stop shop for most to everything gaming related and there is much more social interaction as well. One of the offerings of Steam is early access. I’m still in two camps about early access. For example, lets take a game that I’m currently loving which is The Universim. This is a throw back to the days of Pete Molyneux’s “Black and White” gaming series. You are basically a god like creature and have to influence your underlings to do your bidding. The Universium brings very ambitious gameplay, where you are not just limited to the planet but endeavour to forge a galactic empire. While the concept of the game is fantastic the one thing that really gets to me is early access. It’s great to be able to play a game while it’s in development stage, however I’m starting to find that the specialness of brand new games seems to dwindle as I keep on playing them.
Look at it this way, back in the day you were able to buy a game, play it until you were looking as pasty as Sienna Miller without makeup on, and then job done. With early access the fizz seems to run out very early on. Once you’ve finished a game as much as you can, you have to wait for the next bit. I sometimes feel like “what the fuck have I wasted my time on?”. I’m not saying that the games are bad, it’s the complete opposite. I’m just getting really tired with paying full wack for a quarter done game (and yes I knew that when I purchased it) and you are told upfront it’s not a finished, Maybe im expecting to much.
Some 90% of these early access games allow you to buy in at different levels, such as bronze, silver and gold. Each one giving that little bit more than the last, like the traditional console model you would buy different version that included different items or more epic-ness than the last.