I have returned to PC gaming


#1

For various reasons (portability being a big one) I haven’t owned a gaming PC since 2008, having gamed on and off on consoles since then. However although I sold my monolith-shaped PC, I never saw the act as abandoning the platform, rather as taking a break. With the rise of Kickstarter and indie games I’ve been meaning to return to experience more of creative goodness that is possible thanks to the openness of the platform. I have been playing indie games on the PC since 2008, but my old laptop was a low end machine and that couldn’t even handle Freedom Planet.

Last weekend I bought a new laptop with a decent video card. Apparently The Witcher 3 is playable (just) on low graphics, so it should run any game. However, I didn’t buy it to play the latest triple-A games, as most of these don’t interest me (or they can wait), and it’s not intended entirely for gaming. It’s a Mac after all.

Game recommendations would be nice. I look forward to catching up the creative games that have been released in the last few years, as well as older classics, indie games, and games that step outside the status quo (even if they’re a bit rough around the edges). High quality multi-platform games that I never played on consoles are of interest too. I want to play a variety of games, so the game length should be capped at around 15 hours unless the game is exceptional.

So far I’ve played through the Tomb Raider reboot and Freedom Planet on it. I know that @Draikin holds Life Is Strange in high esteem, so I’ll likely play that once I obtain a copy of Windows. I noticed more than one person here has recommended The Longest Journey. I’ve never played that series, but it looks appealing.


#2

These are my top 5 recommendations:

The Longest Journey (yes this game is very deep and has a very well thought out narrative)

Sonic After the Sequel (it’s free!) Best evolution Sonic would have went after Sonic & Knuckles if it stayed 2D!

Lifeless Planet

Ori and the Blind Forest

Child of Light


#3

So, are only Mac games on the cards or will you be installing Windows too?

If it’s the former, all I can recommend that is Mac compatible is The Walking Dead series from Telltale… and Bioshock 2!

and Half Life, Half Life 2, Portal, Portal 2… but I think you’ve already played those.


#4

Good recommendations @legaiaflame. I definitely want to try Ori and the Blind Forest and those other games you listed sound promising too.

@Shadow, I’ll almost certainly be installing Windows 10 on a separate partition, just to play Windows-only games, while playing multi-OS games on OSX. These days there’s less of a need to use Windows if you’re focusing on indie games (as I am). 3/5 of the games in my Steam library are available on both OSX and Windows.

Apparently Bioshock 2 wasn’t very good…? I played the first Bioshock and liked it, but heard that the second one just drags out the themes of the first game… so I was actually considering skipping the second game and going straight to Infinite. Thoughts?

I installed The Walking Dead, but it crashed before the title screen. I’ll try it on Windows at some point. I want to try Game of Thrones as well (being a big fan of the books and show).

I’ve played some of Valve’s games, but not the Portal games extensively. Those are on my list.


#5

Some may disagree, but the second Bioshock was an absolute chore. I would definitely recommend skipping it for Infinite.

As for games on the PC, I mostly use Windows with some occasional Linux boots, so not as familiar with what is available on MacOS. If you do boot to Windows and are a PC rpg fan, Pillars of Eternity is a great (long) D&D style game. Legend of Grimrock 1 and 2 (shorter) are both fun 1st person rpg’s in the vain of something like Shining in the Holy Ark on the Saturn. It really is a spiritual successor to the old D&D 1st person explorers of old. Ori and the Blind forest is a pretty one. I also really enjoyed the Trine games. The Witcher games are top notch of course. Bastion, Transistor are both good. Some great mods like the Kotor2 Sith Lords Restored Content mod is definitely a great way to re-experience that game (which was unbearably broken when originally released).


#6

I thought Bioshock 2 was superior in many ways, although Bioshock 1 was probably better overall.

The sequel does away with some of the more finicky, annoying mini game stuff and is more action oriented. The combat situations are funner even if the level design isn’t as good; and although the story in the second one is a little lacklustre what I enjoyed most was that it has the same fantastic atmosphere as the original.

I haven’t and don’t plan to play Infinite because I’ve kinda had my fill of the gameplay, and the story doesn’t sound particularly appealing. Plus, it’s all about Rapture - Columbia doesn’t particularly grab my attention.


#7

I would also say The Longest Journey would be one of my first recommendations. You should definitely play it and subsequently be disappointed with the sequel.

Not sure what multi plats you’ve played, but I loved Valkyria Chronicles. I think the PC version is the definitive for the title (considering it came out 6 years later). Alien Isolation is one of the best games I’ve played in recent memory and captures the feeling of the first Alien movie perfectly, with a single invincible xeno. Jazzpunk is a strange game that’s really hard to categorize, but its crazy and unique. And then there’s No One Lives Forever 1 and 2. They’re not anything recent, but I always wholeheartedly recommend them.


#8

@frelled I’ll be installing Windows at some point since so many games are missing OSX and Linux ports. So feel free to suggest any Windows game.

I actually have the first two Trine games and Legend of Grimrock which were included in some of the Humble Bundles. Legend of Grimrock looks interesting; I’ll probably give it a try at some point.

Because of the length I’m hesitant to start The Witcher series, but if I do decide to play through a lengthy RPG series again, The Witcher trilogy looks like a good candidate. From what I hear, a strong character driven story with mature themes and moral ambiguity. Also the fact that CD Projekt Red seem to care about their fans. I tried another big fantasy RPG a while back, Dragon Age: Origins, but was put off when I discovered advertising for DLC in the dialogue choices. I haven’t played a Bioware game since. The fact that CD Projekt Red go to lengths to avoid this kind of blantant money grabbing makes The Witcher franchise more appealing.

Bastion I played through a while back (and enjoyed). Transistor looks like a good spiritual successor to Bastion. I also played KOTOR 1 and 2 years ago, but have no strong desire to revisit them or play the MMO.

@Shakespeare I intend to at least try Valkyria Chronicles, being a fan of Shining Force and Skies of Arcadia. As with other RPGs, the length will be the main barrier.

Apparantly I already have Jazzpunk. It looks strange. I might give it a try. I recently played through another oddball: Thirty Flights of Loving (short!). I’m not quite sure what to make of it. It didn’t leave a huge impression.


#9

It’s kind of similar to Thirty Flights of Loving, but it’s far longer and much better realized. There’s a lot of interaction with the environment and is filled with a ton of off-the-wall humor. I felt the same way as you did about Thirty Flights, played it twice in a row because I was skeptical the whole game was actually that long; I was thinking I reached a bad ending or something. On the other hand, Jazzpunk was quite brilliant.


#10
  • Another vote for The Longest Journey.
  • Valkyria Chronicles on PC can be found for around $5, and it’s a very solid port.
  • Deus Ex: Human Revolution is also a game worth looking into. It’s often sold at bargain prices and while it has some flaws, it’s still a great game.
  • Life is Strange: A flawed but unique game. It does some things better than any other game I’ve played, and that makes it a must-play for me. The EU version is on sale for €15 at the moment: https://store.eu.square-enix.com/emea_europe/games/pc-windows-download/Life-Is-Strange-Complete-Season-1-5.php. Might be in other regions as well.

#11

Thanks, I purchased Life is Strange while that sale was on and added it to my Steam account. I have The Longest Journey and Valkyria Chronicles from previous sales as well. It may be a little while before I play any of these - the issue isn’t so much the cost of games as it is time and data transfer limitations (a real issue for those of us consuming digital content on this side of the world).


#12

The good thing is that Life is Strange doesn’t take all that long to complete per episode, about a few hours each. I’m curious to read your thoughts on the game, once you get around to playing it!

Deus Ex: Human Revolution Director’s Cut is also on sale for €6,79, which is quite cheap given how much content it includes. I spent around 30 hours on the game (including the Missing Link DLC, which is also in the Director’s Cut).

I also forgot Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed. The PC version is by far the best version of the game, and you can often find it being sold at around $5. I was also going to mention Tomb Raider, but I noticed you already have it. It’s a good game, actually better than the Uncharted games.


#13

Gaming is just one of my hobbies; I read books (fiction and non fiction) and watch films/shows as well, so games have to compete for this time. Not to mention work, side projects, socialising, and exercise. There never seems to be enough time to do everything that I want to! That’s why I’m aiming to only play games that are 15 hours or less from now on. The last long game that I played was Mass Effect 3. HowLongToBeat.com says that Life is Strange is about 14 and half hours. That’s a reasonable length, especially as it’s episodic. I’ll make Life is Strange the first game that I play once I get a copy of Windows.

I played the demo of Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed on the 360 (Dragon Crayon is the demo :anjou_happy:) and I’ll likely play the full game at some point. Deus Ex: Human Revolution looks interesting. I’ll pass on it for now since I already have a large backlog of unplayed games (I appreciate all the suggestions though - keep 'em coming!). I just picked up the Bioshock Triple Pack on sale as well, so I have more than enough first person action games to last until the Rapture (pun intended).


#14

A made this topic over a year ago, and since then I’ve completed a number of the games on PC discussed (or not discussed) in this topic: Life is Strange, Spec Ops: The Line, Undertale, Game of Thrones - A Telltale Games Series, and Bioshock Infinite. I actually tried Bioshock 2 but got bored so I skipped over it to get to the third game, which is easily the best in the series, although like all Bioshock games it drags in places. As you can probably tell, the games that hold me until the end tend to offer thought provoking material relating to human choices.

Also, I’ve been getting into walking simulators and played through Dear Esther, Abzu, Virginia, and Firewatch. I have started others such as Lifeless Planet (nice recommendation @legaiaflame) and intend to finish it. I like the shorter nature of these games; they often feel like a tour through terrain not normally covered by video games. But I can understand why they’re not for everyone.

I had trouble getting The Longest Journey to work on my retina screen, but given the positive views of it from people here I’d still like to play through it. I see that there’s an iOS version which might be an option. Along with The Longest Journey, I still haven’t played The Walking Dead and Fahrenheit which might be worthwhile pure story driven games to play next.

I’ve also tried lots of other games mentioned here but have not completed them for various reasons. I mentioned earlier that I played through the Tomb Raider reboot and I see that the sequel is out now on PC (although it will probably struggle to run on my hardware). I’m less concerned with keeping up with AAA titles though and IMO while Tomb Raider is a solid game, the series has become so hemogonisied that you’re not really missing out on anything if you’ve already played similar games. I’ve been thinking about this more recently, and why we constantly chase after the next big game which is just a more advanced version of last year’s big game… it’s all a bit silly really, because as soon as you play the newer version, the older version is harder to appreciate. So I think in the foreseeable future I’m going to focus on playing games that have a timeless quality to them, which aren’t as replaceable, from the sixth and seventh generations. The PC has an awesome library for this if only because it’s so huge.