It looked for a time as if consoles were going to see off PC games, but the world of PC gaming has enjoyed a resurgence in recent years. Many PC gamers now play on laptops instead of desktop systems, which has made the world of gaming more accessible and portable than previously. With PC games enjoying a wider audience than ever, it’s interesting to consider what makes a good game.
A great PC game must challenge the player. The game needs to provide enough of a struggle to engage the player, but not so much that it becomes too frustrating. The struggle also needs to be enjoyable, but what the individual gamer finds enjoyable will vary hugely. While some might enjoy mental problems, others may prefer to challenge their reaction times or precision of movement.
2. Easy Controls
One area in which PC games are generally considered to be inferior to console games is in the control options. Where console gamers have all manner of hi-tech control pads, joysticks and motion sensors, PC gamers are generally restricted to using a keyboard and a mouse. This means it’s vital that developers program their games to provide as smooth a playing experience as possible. Fiddly key commands or over-complicated control sequences turn off gamers and reduce enjoyment. Simple yet effective controls are the key to a satisfying game with longevity.
Older games offered very little freedom to the gamer, meaning gameplay was limited and there was usually only one way to complete a game. In the past couple of decades, developments in technology and the capabilities of the PC have meant that there are almost limitless options open to the gamer. Interactive scenery in games opens up gameplay hugely, meaning that there are more possibilities than ever before. And some of the best PC games allow the player to interact with other characters, make their own decisions and try different things in their quest to complete the game.
- Online Gameplay
One of the biggest advances in PC gaming in the past decade is the growth in online gaming. Many games can now be played online against other gamers. This opens up gameplay and keeps gaming fresh and exciting. Even for those who choose not to play online, there are limitless resources for sharing information, downloads, patches and user-generated creations, all of which can enhance gameplay and improve the gamer’s experience.
Older games could be finished in a few hours as they were so limited and didn’t allow the gamer to experiment or explore. Today’s games can provide many more hours of gameplay, drawing in the gamer and immersing him or her in the world of the game. Open-ended games such as sim-style ones don’t offer any end-point, meaning gameplay can continue for many years. Many PC games can be played intensely for a period of weeks or months, abandoned for a year or two, then picked up and played where the gamer left off as if there had been no interruption.
Sara Leigh is an avid gamer who writes reviews and articles on developments in the gaming world. She believes that some of the best PC games are those which remain fresh even after several years.