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Have the Rockstar Babies Outgrown Their PC Cribs?

February 25, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 123

Rockstar, the makers most known for their epic Grand Theft Auto series published L.A. Noire in 2011, a neo-noir crime video game that for a welcome change, has you play the hero - a cop, rather an honest cop, who sets out to purge the streets of Los Angeles, a crime ridden area in the 40s thriving in corruption, murder, prostitution, robberies, drug trafficking et cetera. It is quite addictive and intensely satisfying - I don't have to endure four bloody stars with all the cops tailing me in their cars, bikes, helicopters and tanks this time. Also, aiding Bondi developers to build a game on the lines of 2010's successful Heavy Rain is quite smart, strategically.

I exchanged my Uncharted 3 for L.A. Noire - The Complete Edition on PC, not wanting to spend too much on the PS3 platform since I may be travelling to China for the holidays. I had played Batman Arkham Asylum on my Sony Vaio prior to this and that was tremendous, wicked fun. The moment I reached home, I tore open the box and read the manual first, which was loaded with instructions regarding requirements etc, and inserted the CD 1, which had the protagonist sporting a vintage shirt, trousers and a hat and with a serious look, holding a gun, while watching a movie side by side. The installation first had me install the Rockstar Social Club after which the game began installing on my laptop. As Gregory Peck fought anti-Semitism in Gentleman's Agreement, my game was slowly loading itself onto the laptop. Then came the pause, and the instruction to insert CD 2, which had a blond lady in a white dress, her face hidden, and I dutifully obeyed it. The great part about the game, as mentioned in the booklet, was that it could run without the CD. After it got installed, I triumphantly clicked on the Desktop icon and waited for it to load. The first requirement was to download a mandatory patch, and I instantly did that too. This required a long waiting, and I waited patiently (and sometimes anxiously) for it like a man waiting outside the room where his wife is to deliver. I accidentally cancelled the installation and then found that the game was not loading at all. So then I reinstalled the patch, this time instructing all my family members to keep away from the laptop, just as King Kong protected the lady from being mauled by the dinosaurs. By seven thirty, I had it loaded completely. I was (forgive me for using this platitude) on cloud nine, and immediately began playing the game. It looked okay, good at times but I excused the graphics since I know games these days demand a lot of the latest software. I played it right up to two in the morning, solving many petty cases and some challenging ones as Officer Phelps, and then went to sleep.

The next day, after attending college, I eagerly rushed to continue with my progress and was irked when the laptop took some time applying regular updates. When the desktop settled after the usual starters (Do you want to scan this? Would you like to update this? ) and I clicked on the L.A. Noire launcher and then the Play icon, I was taken aback to get the message (L.A. Noire exe file missing. Please re-install game); I could not believe my eyes; I clicked on it again and again only to get the same message in the center of the screen, grinning at me malevolently. I checked through Program files and found it to be actually missing, like Agatha Christie's sudden disappearance. I checked on the Internet where I saw plenty of posts querying about the game's unplayability. I checked forums thinking - "The computer ate my Baby!" (Poor Lindy Chamberlain - curse that twisted dingo!) and saw that others were facing similar or worse problems. But I wasn't going to take that 'That's life!' argument; I was determined to get my exe. Some aggrieved was asked to disable antivirus and firewall, some were harshly informed to reinstall the game itself and I was like "Did Bondi or Rockstar never realize this while making or publishing this game?" I had similar problems with GTA 4 on PC that one ran on my desktop computer as if it had taken a pill of MDNA but it was mainly because of the system's obnoxiously extravagant requirements. But to face problems on my laptop, which well surpassed the recommended requirements was quite a shocker. I experimented to two whole days, searching pillar to post for help and also received many suggestions, but the game never worked. The patch callously displayed 'Error in Binary file", "Case File Missing", "Major Error" and many other... errors. I reinstalled the game five times, downloaded the patch thrice and even changed some setting to 'Never Notify'. But the game remained the same - unresponsive, buggy, dead.

There are three PC titles that have given me troubles - two are mentioned above and the third one is Saints Row 2, another pathetic PC port. I have begun to realize that in an attempt to enhance gaming experience, video game developers are utilizing various additional, highly advanced technology. Also to curb piracy and ensure distribution of authentic game (at least in USA, it won't work in India), they mandatorily ask to register online. I am scared of both aspects, not for my PS3 as it is a monster, but for my computers and laptops. How resolutely have the developers of Uncharted and Heavy Rain games limited only to the PlayStation 3! And how recklessly Bondi, Rockstar and Volition Inc. have stained their reliability in PC gaming by providing such buggy games! I nowadays opt more for console games as they, though expensive, are worth their money and most importantly work. PC has become an entirely different thing. Here, we have been forced to upgrade our computers more often that the game developers themselves! Games that ask for Quad Core Processor and the latest NVidia cards have restricted its audience to expert gamers and upper-class people. I saw my friend playing GTA San Andreas last year on the PC and scoffed at the how old his PC was. But now I feel that playing a game of 2005 that will surely work is better than these newly developed games that are giddy about their functioning.

If developers like Rockstar follow Naughty Dog's footsteps and restrict its platform to consoles only, I would welcome their decision. If they promise to deliver a game that looks polished and works without hang ups, even better. But if they do bring up another glitch-ridden game like L.A. Noire, I would be sorely disappointed. It's time Rockstar decided whether it has grown too big to try the PC... (Also I request Rockstar to do away with compulsory patch downloads since they are interminable headaches. Include the patch in the CD itself if required).

Source: EzineArticles
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