First Person Games Aren’t So “Realistic”

This blog post was originally something that I posted on my now discontinued Nigga Nintendo Nerd site that existed a few years ago. I’ve decided to reboot and retcon such a post now that I have more experience with shooters and first person games in general, so I can give a more detailed analysis. For those that are new, I used to have another WordPress blog prior to MRN back in the summer of 2014 but I cancelled it for many different reasons. One was the layout, another I was just desperate at writing, I wanted to write reviews, and because my classmate stalked me online.

Without further ado, I’ll get right into my “rant” and analysis on how and why first person games, and to a certain extent shooters, aren’t as realistic as they are marketed by the publishers. It’s not just about the view and perspective of first person games, but also the mechanics that are implemented. I know that video games aren’t simulators or VR (unless marketed and designed as such) so they shouldn’t be taken that seriously. However, it still makes me disappointed that people actually are naïve and stupid enough to believe that such games are very realistic and actually emulate reality very closely.

First Person “Perspective”

What really pisses me off about games that take place from a first person perspective is how much they fail at trying to copy real life. Yes, I can look and move around in all directions, although when I look down below me I see only the ground. Re-read the last part of the previous sentence, and you’ll know exactly what’s wrong… is that you can’t see any parts of your body except for hands and arms! So the developers think that having players see through the eyes of the protagonist is indeed realistic, but not including their body in first person mode isn’t?

When we all look down we can see our legs, crotch, stomach, arms, hands, and sometimes even our chest. But in many first person games you see none of that when looking down so it’s as if we’re playing as a floating head with arms and hands. Look, I get that you can’t really program the character to move their eyes and see their nose and parts of their face. It’s just really awkward when I enter a vehicle in first person mode and then it looks as if it’s driving itself or I’m using telekinesis, since I’m not using (able to see) any hands to maneuver the vehicle.

Now this wouldn’t be a problem for older games released on systems with hardware limitations or games that aren’t marketed as being realistic. Nevertheless, newer games and those especially promised to emulate reality shouldn’t fail to captivate consumers by not adding such a small detail that should be common sense. Not just the fact that such games and their developers technically broke a few laws, but also fails to deliver the realistic experience that was promised. Kind of like how the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X aren’t true native 4K resolution despite advertised as legitimate 4K.

Another characteristic of first person mode that isn’t close to its real life counterpart is the FOV or field of view. That’s basically how much you can see within your range of vision (which is your television screen or PC monitor). We humans tend to see our environment in a 180 degree angle whereas you can only see roughly 90 to about 110 degrees of the FOV in first person games. Also, we also view reality as a curvy “dome” and video games are displayed on a flat 2D surface. Some monitors are designed to be curvy but those are very rare and many games aren’t optimized for it.

The view model is the final and last feature of first person perspective that isn’t even close to how it is in real life. This is how close or far away the body parts are positioned from the screen. Many shooters depict players holding the gun with their hands so close to the screen and only being able to see a little past the wrist area. With the exception of pistols, I cannot even believe how developers can convince people to believe that people actually hold guns like that in real life. This is just nitpicking, but when looking in a mirror our characters aren’t replicated 1:1 to their reflections.

Problems Playing In FPP

So what’s wrong with not having an accurate first person perspective other than breaking minor laws and ethics/morals you ask? It makes the game a lot harder in specific situations or areas, especially those in the action and platform genres. Say I have to jump over to a far ledge and I have to do it quickly, but then because I can’t see the rest of my body I can’t properly distance how far I am from falling. I then either make it due to poor collision detection, pure luck, or just fall and fail simply because I couldn’t see my legs. And many games have platforming segments no matter what.

Or say I’m fighting a fuck ton of enemies or a boss that sends a thousand projectiles at my way. The reality is that I can only fend off those that I can directly see within my limited range of vision and somewhat with my hearing. To counter such limitations, developers usually add arrows or colors to areas where you’re getting hit off screen so you can react properly. I don’t know…maybe if you idiots allowed us to see more than just what’s in front of us and not have invisible bodies, then maybe, just maybe we could react before and/or faster instead of buying better monitor(s)?

Another issue is something that is specifically relevant mostly to shooters. Why can’t I ever use the sights of guns that have them attached to have better accuracy? If the developers are going to add the sights to guns like the M16 and AK47 to emulate the designs how come we can’t use them to make it more “realistic”? It’s not the same as a scope where we can use them to zoom in and aim at enemies from extremely far distances. And having a crosshair for aiming isn’t so realistic as only snipers and scopes have them, and you need training to even aim with guns due to recoil.

I can’t believe I forgot about this until now – collision detection is also another issue with first person games lacking visible bodies. I often think I bumped into a wall, obstacle, or enemy when really I didn’t and other times when I’m so far away I still somehow manage to touch them. This sort of inconsistency could be solved with better programming or by simply having a visible lower body. Sadly, developers don’t implement neither of these solutions and is more of a pet peeve than a difficulty spike for veterans compared to those of beginners and noobs.

Gameplay Mechanics In FPP

Let me discuss about the different mechanics that developers add into first person games to make it seem more realistic when it only makes it more fictional. First is the speed of movement and different ways to do so (crouching, walking, and sprinting). Why the hell is the default speed not aligned with the sounds of footsteps? How can developers actually think they can fool us thinking that we’re speed-walking but it sounds like we’re only walking? I know this might seem nitpicking though developers intentionally market such games as realistic so I’m going to criticize them for being so fake.

Also when crouching or crawling, it looks like the character is at a very low altitude; however, compare it to the height of nearby objects. Then you’ll notice they aren’t actually crouching and crawling, rather they’re just slightly ducking which gives slightly better accuracy when jumping and shooting. If you look at enemies crouching or crawling, it looks very ridiculous and makes them more visible targets in shooting games. Maybe if the developers actually made them crouch and crawl much lower it would be harder to be detected by enemies and be more realistic?

When it comes to walking and sprinting, you become as slow as a snail with the former and become Usain Bolt with the latter. Shouldn’t walking be a…little faster and sprinting be a little slower or at least with stamina to hinder it? Anyways, strafing is something that you wouldn’t normally do even when shooting in real life as it looks ridiculous and also isn’t effective when making turns. Speaking of Bolt, shouldn’t the characters ever tire out after awhile, especially those carrying heavy ass guns and equipment? And how come characters can jump high enough to go over hurdles?

I don’t understand how switching from first person to third person in some circumstances is acceptable as realistic? Like can I suddenly make my eyes teleport so that I can see from a third person perspective? I know it’s just video games, but how is it realistic to simply crouch for a few seconds and then regenerate? I find it more believable to heal from pills, med-kits, energy bars, or even hearts even though those defy logic and science too lol. Regenerating health and respawning upon death makes many shooters like COD and Battlefield very fake and not realistic.

I can honestly go on and rant about how unrealistic these games are so I think I’ll just end it here since you guys should understand my point now. There actually are lots of first person games that do try to be more realistic by adding lower body (Left 4 Dead), following the physics of actual shooting (CSS & CSGO), and having realistic FOV and view model (most Valve games). I can’t believe games like Zelda and Metroid implement features that are fake but still seem more realistic than what you use in typical fake shooters played by kids and man children living with their parents.

Never Going To Use Steam Forums Again!

This editorial will probably be the last one before I start publishing reviews again for the time being. I know this is more of a rant than anything else, but since it personally affects me and involves matters that caused me to start blogging in the first place, I think it’s important to write it here on MRN. Due to the Steam moderators being extremely corrupt, rude, and egotistical, I will no longer be using the official Steam discussions although I will still be using game hub forums and Steam feature discussions. The title of this editorial is sort of click-bait so I apologize now.

Anyways, I’m sick and tired of these mods who go after innocent people who try to get them punished for corruption while others like me that don’t show complete obedience to them. We’re not your slaves, you don’t put the food on our tables, and you aren’t executive staff at Valve – you are equal to us. I don’t understand why you assholes have to abuse the authority (not power) given to you simply because other people make fun of you or they hurt your fragile ego. It’s always those that have authority that get the ego thing up their fucking asses.

I almost never see people with power (except for egotistical thin-skinned politicians) abuse it the way those with authority do. They aren’t going to stoop to the level of people that insult and criticize them and exact retribution to boost their egos. They have other more important matters and problems to worry about than a bunch of common folk roasting them. Actually, if such people did abuse the power they would immediately regret it since their reputation has been damaged so they’ll avoid it to save face. But authority figures just don’t seem to care…or do they?

Oh wait, they actually do care about losing face so to prevent that, they’ll delete all the evidence along with punishing those involved to silence them. And even after being exposed, more often than not their higher-ups will just let them get away with it or the punishment they receive will be a slap on the wrist. I noticed all moderators are like that, but for some reason it’s the Steam moderators that are the absolute worst. Only a few mods and admins I met in GameSpot and other sites were extremely corrupt and egotistical about people exposing and insulting them.

Simply put, I’ve made this decision a few days I’ve been banned for the 4th time on Steam for a minor infraction. They would rather go after people like me, but not trolls that constantly violate the community guidelines. If being a moderator is just volunteering, why do they go out of their way to go after people that undermine their authority? Well I already answered my own question so from here on out, I’m just going to post in the alternative forums as mentioned before, or simply finally move on and join Reddit for the first time in my life.

Likewise, all other forum sites aren’t innocent either as they too have their fair share or corrupt and/or egotistical moderators and admins. Back then, I constantly got warnings, bans, then permabans for the stupidest or unfair of reasons. Lots of times the admins permabanned me weren’t even because of trolling! The only forums where I’m still safe from being punished are GameFAQS and Super-Cheats which I don’t even use and haven’t logged on for years. If they aren’t going to do their fucking jobs properly, they may as well restrict or eliminate the forums altogether.

Yes I know, in the rules it specifically states for all forums that mods and admins can modify, transfer, or delete any posts/threads that they feel are inappropriate within their own discretion. But such a rule is extremely vague and basically lets such corrupted lightweights do whatever the hell they want. It’s basically the developers’ or site publishers’ way of giving the users the middle finger, saying “Fuck you guys! This is our site, our rules, and you obey them like you’re our bitches.” There’s essentially no existence of freedom of speech in these forum sites.

Some of you are probably going to tell me that freedoms and rights are bullshit and site creators can decide how they want to run their sites. I agree with that but only to a certain extent, because while there are limits to freedoms if abused, they must still be allowed as the site creators must follow the laws of the countries and/or continents that they operate in. Sorry but if they don’t want to comply with the law, then their website will simply get blocked by the government or the companies will suffer from lawsuits by government agencies to punish them for disobeying.

And Valve has had many incidents of being sued or threatened by such agencies for violating laws time and time again. Like when they refused to issue refunds in Europe even though European Union law states that consumers can refund products whenever they want for whatever reason even if they just don’t feel like it. Or how about when they were threatened by a Washington agency for allowing gambling sites for CSGO to exist and flourish for minors? That wasn’t specifically relevant with corrupted mods but it still applies since nobody is above the law.

To sum it all up, I’m no longer using the official Steam discussions even after my temporary ban expires and only using alternative forums after. I tried appealing to Steam Support but they were just as passive aggressive and useless like before, just like when they offered no solutions to the malfunctioning l4d2 servers. I would often visit Reddit months before I even joined Steam and loved how the way it was structured and allowed people to discuss very controversial topics. I learned through experience is that the grass really is greener on the other side of the fence.

Debunking Common Gaming Myths

If you’re like me, chances are your parents are of a much older generation and have never been exposed to video games when they were young. Human nature dictates that we tend to fear the unknown; what we don’t understand, we come to both have an irrational fear and hatred for such things and concepts. My parents have always had a “phobia” for video games – completely believed in the negative stereotypes, tried everything they could to limit me from gaming, and would constantly belittle and ridicule me for having an interest in them.

Now with this article I’m not going to list and debunk every single lie about video games that baby boomers have. Instead, I will list down the myths that many parents, especially my own, seem to possess and prove them wrong. I’ll try to keep this compilation of myths and realities as short as possible, as we live in an era where youth tend to have extremely short attention spans and won’t bother reading anything as long as a very short essay. Here are all of the common myths parents believe about gaming and the comforting truths to debunk them:

Myth -> Video Games Rot Your Brain

Parents believe that video games require little to no mental concentration and usage of the brain. They reason that since it is for entertainment, the player is essentially losing their intelligence to such a mindless activity. However, they don’t seem to make the same negative claims when it comes to watching TV and movies…

Reality -> Video Games Improve Your Brain

Not only are those assumptions false and offensive, video games require high amounts of concentration and usage of the brain. Video games are classified as a mentally demanding activity unlike that of watching TV or movies. As with games like chess and poker, one must focus and be sharp in order to win.

In addition, numerous studies conclude you become better at problem solving, hand eye coordination, greater tenacity, and other skills that can never be obtained by watching TV or listening to music. Doesn’t it make the parents a bunch of hypocrites when they makes those claims about video games but not TV shows?

I’m not going to lie but video games is what kept my sanity and logic/reasoning in check throughout my childhood. It also prevents me from becoming the stupid man-child they believe I am from gaming so much. I get tired a lot after playing video games because it’s mentally demanding, kind of like when I study a lot for exams.

Myth -> Video Games Are For Youth

Parents believe all games are targeted towards either children, teenagers, or the general audience with some exceptions. Those exceptions they find are too violent, sexual, controversial, or inappropriate in other ways for kids. People who are adults that still game are seen as outcasts of society in their eyes.

Reality -> Video Games Are For Everyone

Although that myth was true back then from the late 1960’s to mid 1990’s, after that was when games were targeted to older audiences. As of the year of 2017, majority of gamers are in fact adults with the median being those in their mid to late 30’s.

Games that are too inappropriate for children are geared towards this audience. It surprises and shocks me to realize so many parents are still completely ignorant of the rating systems put in place for video games.  They exist so that consumers can be notified whether it is appropriate for specific age groups.

If you choose to buy a M rated or 16+ rated game to a minor you are not just letting them play “disgusting” games, but you are also breaking the law. Think about that before buying the next GTA or COD game for your child.

Myth -> Video Games Makes You Anti-Social

I can’t believe some parents (including my mom) still believe in this myth but they believe you get alienated from others when gaming. You decrease whatever social skills you already have and become very anti-social. Eventually you’ll refuse to interact with others and become a loner or socially awkward at work/school.

Reality -> Video Games Makes You Social

Oh how those few ignorant parents are so fucking wrong. Starting with the late 90’s and early 2000’s, gamers were introduced to online multiplayer. Consoles as early as the Play-Station 2 and the original Xbox had them which allowed random people to play games with one another from around the world.

Eventually with newer systems like the PS3 and Xbox 360 (as well as platforms like Steam), gamers were able to participate in virtual communities. Gamers were able to trade items, post user-generated content, display their own social profile, and do other things similar to social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and WeChat.

On top of that, players could communicate in-game and outside of them through voice chat and/or texting. So playing video games now a days actually makes you even more social and increases your social skills which benefit youth.

Myth -> Video Games Are Wasteful

Parents believe video games are mostly or completely waste of time and that you could be doing better things with your life. They find it just as immoral and time consuming as say doing drugs, banging prostitutes, and joining gangs. Most parents don’t have such extreme beliefs and state everything is to be done in moderation.

Reality -> Video Games Are Helpful

To the parents that believe too much of anything isn’t good and balance is needed, more power and support goes to you. Anyways, they have benefits that I previously mentioned that are proven by scientific researchers.

Such skills can help you get and succeed in jobs such as surgeons and video content creators. They can also help those suffering from stress, dyslexia, poor vision, autism, and so on to improve and reduce of those problems. So no, it’s not just better hand eye coordination that are beneficial in gaming.

Obviously if the only thing you’re doing besides mandatory stuff like eating, sleeping, bathroom, and going to school/work is gaming then you have issues. Unless you’re like me and stuck in a suburbs for the summer with nothing else to do since you lost connection with high-school friends.

Myth -> Video Games Require Gamepad

Now this myth applies more heavily to PC gaming rather than console gaming. Thing is my parents (and most likely others) believe that it is impossible to play video games without using a gamepad controller. Only mobile, arcade, and handheld devices are played using other means to interact in video games.

Reality -> Video Games Require Nothing

Even on consoles, more modern systems such as the Wii, Wii U, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and the Nintendo Switch have other types. From touchscreen tablet controllers and motion based remotes, to arcade joysticks and steering wheels, to even just a typical keyboard and mouse set, there are many options to choose.

Hell, even on much older systems like the NES and Xbox had all sorts of gimmicky non-traditional controllers to play with. This past summer I’ve been mostly spending my time on my laptop just playing games from Steam, yet my parents assume I’m just browsing the internet simply because I’m not using a gamepad controller.

Most parents are already aware of the non-traditional controllers for consoles and arcades, but completely ignorant to other platforms of gaming. It pains me to see that such people still believe in these negative and old myths.

Myth -> Video Games Lead To Hospitalization

I can’t believe that my parents still believe in this bullshit because of testimonies from colleagues and from the mainstream dishonest media. How people still believe that playing video games for over 50 hours can kill you with a heart attack, or how constantly gaming can lead to “hand surgery” is beyond me.

Reality -> Video Games Are Not Toxic

Unless you have severe gaming addiction and/or have health conditions prior to getting ill or dying from too much gaming, you honestly won’t die or get ill. As an experiment, I played video games for one week straight back in university just before exam time to experience the negative affects or prolonged gaming.

I still did take bathroom breaks, cook and eat my own meals, and sleep for 6-8 hours every day.  But I skipped out on a few meals, neglected other responsibilities like studying (just for a week), and did nothing else but gaming in my spare time. And here I am still alive and healthy with no problems!

Well, the only problems I suffered was minor carpel tunnel syndrome in my right thumb and left marriage finger. I also became extremely tired due to the fact that video games are as mentally demanding as studying for exams. I honestly didn’t get addicted after that since I went back to studying and not gaming so much.

 

 

 

How To Deal With Toxic Players

Anybody who’s played multiplayer games where you can play with random strangers online from around the world have encountered this issue before. Like with society, while majority of people are either neutral or good, there is always that small minority of assholes that spread their toxicity to make others suffer. This isn’t just limited to trolls sadly, as there also exists hackers, griefers, and what I like to call “punishers”. Knowing who they are, what they do, and how to deal with them can make online gaming a better experience and help you deal with losers in real life.

Origins of Toxic Lightweights

Now I’ve already written my own guide on Steam, but since this guide focuses on toxic players across all gaming platforms, I won’t be so specific. Let me start off with their origins – why they started being toxic to others in the first place. Majority of these rejects are kids and teenagers that have are either very bored, extremely immature, using the power of anonymity given by the internet, or are suffering from issues in real life and are venting their negative emotions. Adults that resort to these kinds of behaviours are doing it because they suffer from being a socio or a psychopath.

They tend to be college aged or still in their 20’s, aren’t financially successful, have a poor social life, and/or dealing with toxic people themselves. There can be other reasons but those are most common for them becoming sociopaths and hurting innocent people online. It gives them the power and satisfaction they lack in real life, leading to sadism, lack of empathy, and emotional manipulation. Looking back, I have to conclude my own mother is a sociopath so I know how to deal with them and what it’s like to be emotionally abused and neglected by such assholes.

Characteristics of These Idiots

  • Their profile is usually private to have full anonymity online.
  • If public it tends to reveal very little of their gaming activities.
  • Accomplished/played very little despite having joined for years.
  • Only or mostly plays games that are “competitive” to them.
  • Spends very little to no time at other games that are “casual”.
  • Has a controversial or NSFW profile username and avatar.
  • Very low level compared to other veteran players just like them.
  • Constantly changing their username and avatar for anonymity.
  • Having few friends that are just as low level and toxic as them.

Terminology of Losers

Trolls – These people are the most common and exist outside of online servers and lurk on forums, social networks, and other place where they can socialize with others. They tend to write anything they can to provoke others to get a negative reaction so they can feed on such emotions to satisfy their lack of positive ones. Resorting to pathetic tactics such as swearing, name-calling, threatening, hate speech, bigotry, childish comebacks, and so on. They also all for some reason love to censor to make themselves look better and lack original arguments instead by copying other people.

Griefers – Usually these players are the ones you meet in servers but they can exist in forums as well. Instead of using words to harass others, they will use actions which is more effective in pissing people off. Team-killing, idling, suicide, vote-kicking, and abandoning teammates are examples we’ve all been through. Words can’t stop them so you must fight back using actions to counter theirs. Unlike with trolls, simply ignoring them won’t solve anything and it just benefits them since they can then ambush the team or other players when they least expect it.

Hackers – Very obvious of what they do and more of these assholes exist on PC gaming rather than consoles due to easy access to installing cheat codes. While developers try their best to permaban such losers, some hackers are still persistent by using alternate accounts of using a different PC or IP address to bypass the punishments. Not much can be done with them other than reporting them to the developers who will then look into and investigate before punishing them. Games that have “dead” communities will have lots of hackers as companies no longer care about them.

Punishers – Rarest breed of toxic people that consist mostly of corrupted moderators, administrators, and developers themselves! Why do those with authority tend to abuse it when their egos are shattered so easily? They will use whatever tools they can to punish others to silence them or get even for insulting them or hurting their image. No, just because a moderator deletes your thread doesn’t automatically deem them to be toxic. People who also pretend to be moderators also fit in this group since they too try to punish others by snitching for bullshit reasons.

Strategies To Deal With Them

  • Block the player’s profile(s) so they can no longer play or contact you.
  • Mute their mic or disable yours completely to censor their trolling.
  • Report them to the moderators or developers depending on situation.
  • Ignore their posts in forums and move on with your awesome life.
  • Change the profile settings to private or restricted access to comments.
  • File a complaint or lawsuit against corrupted developers if need be.
  • Get ready to teamkill, votekick, or abandon griefers at moment’s notice.
  • Avoid playing games or game modes that have lots of toxic people.
  • Resort to only or mostly playing with friends or by yourself with bots.
  • Have other people ally with you and gang up on such toxic losers.
  • Appeal to people with high authority like admins and customer service.

Exceptions To This Guide

Of course, having a few or many of those traits listed above does not automatically deem them to be toxic. Many griefers and trolls know about these and some will actually try to disguise themselves among normal functional people. Others are just inexperienced or immature, maybe have had a bad day which isn’t anything abnormal, or have personality traits that turn people off. Usually mentoring or comforting such people can make them change their unintentional toxic behaviour. Hackers and punishers sadly can’t be dealt with regular means which is annoying.

Being passive aggressive such as ignoring and snitching should only be used as last resorts for the extremely toxic people. Once you’ve exposed or dealt with these toxic people, they tend to lose face and ego, and slowly vanish away from the community only to prey on other innocent victims. I do not recommend going against trolls and punishers directly unless you’re intelligent and rational like me, as I am able to outsmart them by using their manipulation against them and take their insults without being offended. I hope this guide has helped you and be safe online.

 

 

So Many PC Games Aren’t Optimized

Despite the superiority that PC has over gaming consoles, one thing which consoles will always have is well optimized games. If you’re a PC gamer like me, you’ll tend to discover so many older games from years or even decades ago that no longer work or have game breaking bugs on newer operating systems such as Windows 10. You’ll also notice usually the PC port of a triple A title that works perfectly fine on consoles is full of glitches for PC. And often times it’s usually the community that ends up modding the game to make it work rather than the lazy/greedy developers.

Of course, older games were specifically designed to run on the operating systems the developers had access to back then. Newer operating systems just didn’t exist so there was no way for them to make it compatible. However, often times the developers are able to fix it but they are simply lazy since unlike with publishing games on consoles there is no lengthy process enforced by the three major companies. On consoles the major competitors will make sure the games work with almost no bugs to ensure the consumers have peace of mind and not get pissed off.

Unfortunately such a process doesn’t exist on PC since it’s an open platform where you can install games from practically any company and website. So while PC games are released faster compared to console ports, the developers just won’t really care about optimizing it until people complain a lot. Other times developers are greedy and want to make a quick buck knowing that it can just be patched later. Since consoles have way more gamers playing them, developers will tend to focus more of their efforts to optimizing the console rather than the PC port.

Thankfully, since PC is indeed an open platform it’s not all doom and gloom. GOG is a website that distributes specifically older games from the mid ’90s to early 2000’s dedicated to being optimized for newer OS and hardware. If you’ve been on Steam, you’ll realize that lots of the older games aren’t optimized at all so head on over to GOG if you want old games that work. Oh right, if you’re playing a game that doesn’t require powerful hardware, sometimes that too can prevent you from actually playing the game without any major software issues.

Also due to poor optimization, it’s not really recommended to use a high end PC to play very low end games without tweaking it yourself first. Not all low end games are like this, but some are which may annoy the crap out of high end owners. But hey, at least PC offers universal backwards compatibility so long as you know where to find working games and fix broken ones yourself or by the community. And then there are some games that are just poorly optimized simply because of the way they were designed to be which can only be “fixed” by using better hardware.

Take Left 4 Dead 2 as a perfect example of a poorly optimized game. Despite being a game from 2009 and only requiring 256 MB of VRAM for recommended requirements, I still get very shitty framerate when there’s a huge horde. My laptop has 512 MB of VRAM so you would assume I can play at 1080p max settings and get 60-80 fps right? No it’s because the maps, weather, and zombies are not properly optimized since Valve rushed this game’s development to be released within a year only after L4D1 came out. The prequel took years to develop which resulted in better fps overall.

Maps such as Hard Rain, The Passing, Swamp Fever, and The Parish seem to have a lower framerate compared to Dead Center and Dark Carnival. Those maps tend to be very open ended, have lots of particle and weather effects, and tend to spawn so much zombies everywhere. The zombies themselves give off way more blood and gore then the prequel which actually lowers the framerate by a lot, and the fact that there is at least twice as much being spawned compared to l4d1. To be fair, certain parts of The Parish and The Passing are actually well optimized.

In the first game, it was rare to have more than 1000 zombies total in a campaign unless playing online. But in l4d2, that is now the standard offline and can reach over 2000 online which is a lot of damn zombies to kill! Plus the fact that there are always several special infected being spawned once instead of only one or two. I’ve lowered the blood/gore and played some mutations where the amount of zombies have been reduced, and when I did, holy shit did the framerate increase significantly even at much higher video settings that would’ve hindered me otherwise.

Other times the framerate is mostly consistent and I get 45-60 fps or even 60-80fps in some occasions since I disabled vertical sync. Okay, I mentioned before I am using mods and that is also to blame for overall crappy framerate, but even without them, I would still get 35-40 fps when there’s a horde instead of 25-35 fps. That’s still nothing impressive compared to the usual 45-60 range that I get. Sadly, with this and other poorly optimized games, one of the last resorts even after lowering video settings and modding the game is to get even more powerful hardware to run them.

Until there’s a lengthy but effective publication process that gets enforced by Valve, GOG, EA, Ubisoft, and Blizzard, some PC games will never be optimized properly. I still haven’t written my reviews for PC games yet as I’m still deciding to whether write and publish reviews for mobile games or to just move on straight to PC. I know back then I said I wouldn’t be writing editorials but if you’ve read my recent Then & Now article that I just updated a few days ago (which was supposed to be finished last summer) you’ll know otherwise about this and other updates I’ve planned.