During the intro sequence of the 2014 video game Far Cry 4, sadistic dictator Pagan Min tells protagonist Ajay Ghale that they will soon be “tearing sh*t up” in the game. And it is clear that Far Cry 4 gave players plenty of opportunities to cause havoc in the fictional country of Kyrat, using the game’s huge arsenal of guns to blow things up in a virtual world.
And the recently released Just Cause 3 takes things even further, as the game’s dictator-run island of Medici is one big sandbox were protagonist Rico Rodríguez can cause havoc at will. Hell, even the game’s launch trailer featured the world “explosion” so much it may have sounded like a broken record to many…
But even if Just Cause 3 has received solid reviews and is a fun experience overall, it seems that many PC gamers have been more worried about the game’s technical issues than about wreaking havoc on the island of Medici, as many users have complained about poor frame rates and other issues on the Steam forums. Developer Avalanche Studios, who was also behind the Mad Max game this year, has vowed to address the issues, but since no date has been given for a patch, the only thing PC gamers can do is put up with the game’s glitches until one is released.
And sadly this is not the only poor PC launch we have seen this year, as Batman: Arkham Knight shipped in such a buggy state that publisher Warner Bros. had to suspend sales of the PC version of the game, in what was one of the top video game controversies of the year. The console versions, meanwhile, were rock-solid. So is PC gaming in shambles after the Batman: Arkham Knight fiasco and Just Cause 3’s issues?
Many would argue that buying an expensive computer (or putting one together, if you are so inclined) to game is pointless given the disdain that publishers like Warner Bros. have shown for the PC platform. And in Batman: Arkham Knight’s case (unlike Just Cause 3’s) the developer has admitted that certain issues will never be fixed. Also, other big-name titles like Call of Duty: Black Ops III had a poor PC launch, with many users reporting performance issues that got in the way of their enjoyment of the game on launch day.
And even if the PC port of a multiplatform game is not a technical mess at launch, many times PC versions of video games are delayed, as is the case of Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, for instance. And while Assassin’s Creed Syndicate ran pretty well on PC, it still feels that those who game on PCs were not treated like first-class citizens by Ubisoft, as the game came out on PC a month after the console versions hit the market.
So is PC gaming worthwhile in this day and age? Many would argue that it is for PC exclusives like World of Warcraft and the recently-released Starcraft II: Legacy of the Void, which is an excellent real-time strategy game that can only be played on PC. But no matter how much it can be argued that the PC will one day be the dominant gaming platform, or how much PC elitists like to show off their rigs, it is clear that PC gaming isn’t for everyone. Because buying and maintaining a powerful PC to run the likes of Just Cause 3 is an expensive and time-consuming affair, more of a hobby if you like.
And even games like World of Warcraft and Starcraft 2 are on their way out, with Blizzard now focusing on the likes of Overwatch, which will likely cater more for the console crowd. Although hopefully the glitches plaguing the PC version of Just Cause 3 will be ironed out, so that PC gamers can fully enjoy the game on their platform of choice in the near future.