Last Sunday I've decided to spend some time playing games on my PC. I've started "F.E.A.R.", which I didn't touch for several months.
First of all, I've spent some time trying to find which of 5 nearly identical CDs the game wants to have in the drive. The game just kept telling me "Wrong disk inserted". At last I've found out that it wanted disk number 5. Then the game started, and immediately suggested me to download and update. I agreed - and the game immediately quit, starting some downloader instead, which told me that it will take 20 minutes to get the update. (by the way, I have cable - I hate to think for how long the people with dialup would wait...) Well, It was a surprise, because I was in the mood of playing right now - but, after all, I had some other stuff to do, so I just let it run.
In 20 minutes the update was downloaded and installed. I've started the game again, and it again suggested me to download yet another update. Again I agreed, and again the downloader was started - but this time it couldn't locate the file on the server. I decided to run the game without getting the latest patches and features. Alas, I couldn't do it, because the game just crashed when trying to load any of my saved games. I've rebooted a couple of times, and, when it didn't help, I went to the Internet for the help. Very soon I discovered that there was a bug in the first patch I've installed, and that I have to download and install the latest patch. Luckily I found the required file manually pretty soon, and in less than ten more minutes I finally started playing.
And, by the way, while searching for the patch I've accidentally discovered, that another game I've played not so long ago installed some driver on my system for some incredibly advanced copy-protection lock. Now I have to remove this driver, because I do not want some unknown drivers on my PC. The funny thing is, that I've discovered this fact while reading the message on how to install the cracked version of this game!
So, just to add to my writings about what PC games should do to regain market from consoles: these are good examples of what the PC games shouldn't do! For any console gamer, starting the game is a matter of inserting one disk and pressing one button. And the console games just do not download patches - neither they modify the firmware of consoles.
Technorati tags: Gaming, usability