The Sudden Realizations of a Returning PC Gamer

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Last week I said some things about what my gaming regimen would look like after building my new PC. I believe I said something to the effect of "I won't stop playing my console games, but I expect I'll spend more time on the PC." Well, I've gotten the new beastie up and running (I'm actually typing this article from it) and after running a few games on it and using it for my normal browsing, I have a bit more perspective on the matter. I haven't used my consoles in about a week now and there is no sign of that changing anytime soon.

It isn't any secret that PC's are capable of far more on the graphical end of games, at least not to anyone who isn't in denial. As nice as it is to be playing games at a higher resolution and in greater detail, that isn't what has really brought me to this point.

The PC used to be the only way I played games. I only began migrating my gaming sessions ever so slightly consoleward in middle school. By the time I graduated from high school, I was primarily playing on consoles, and so it went through college up to the present day. I never wholly abandoned the PC, but I spent a significant portion of my time on consoles. The reasons for my move are difficult to unravel, but the popularity of console games was certainly a draw.

I've been disappointed by many of the games available on the PS4 and Xbox One of late. I haven't found anything that has really drawn me in and those few titles I am excited for are a month away or more from release. Destiny hasn't thrilled me since sparrow racing ended, I have no interest in a Halo game I can't play with my wife. Most of the games I have been really excited for (namely XCOM 2 and Deserts of Kharak) aren't available on consoles all, which only drove me further towards the PC, as though the familiarity and ioncredible leap in graphical superiority weren't enough

I hadn't expected to be so blown away by the results of this new build. Playing XCOM 2 and Rise of The Tomb Raider in 1440p is stunning, but there is something more to the experience that I can't quite decipher. I feel more and more at home the longer I spend with it. I'm rediscovering my roots, so to speak. I remember the sense of wonder I felt playing Scorched Earth or Master of Orion. I was dumbstruck by the idea that there were these virtual spaces I could interact with and affect. Playing Homeworld Remastered now I feel like that same little kid discovering the unbelievable options available to me.

I don't know how long this feeling will hold out, but I'm keen to stick around as long as it stays within reach. I haven't felt this excited about playing games in a very long time. I feel more aware of the games I'm playing and more immersed in the stories they tell. This is as close as I've come in over a decade to the excitement games held for me as a child. If this is what PC gaming is like, I can't believe it took me this long to come back.