Things you should see.

Black Ops Beta Blues

Call of Duty: Black Ops

The tech press has been preoccupied with Call of Duty: Black Ops over the last 24 hours and yet the proportion of articles addressing the release’s disgraceful PC optimisation, given the volume of coverage overall, is not as great as I think the issue warrants. The game runs awfully- worse than it should on my GTX 470-equipped desktop machine and unplayably slow on my M11x. Neither World at War nor Modern Warfare 2 gave either of these systems any problems. Wouldn’t this game have benefitted from an open beta test? I get the feeling more and more that day-1 PC releases are beta tests these days…

After Fallout: New Vegas, Black Ops is the second game in the last month to ship in a terribly optimised state for the PC. I’ll join the legion of other ponderers in wondering if this isn’t a multiplatform consequence- get the 360 version running ok and all will be right as rain. And try as I might, looking at statistics on what % of Modern Warfare 2 sales were for PC, I guess I can understand where the developers priorities were in getting this out on time…

Still what happened to the good old days of things working at release? Patches are not a new concept in the PC gaming world but have never been the crutch that they are today in ages past. I could rattle off a list of games that have shipped in an utterly crippled state and then fixed up to good working order down the track, but that is sidestepping the issue. Why should anyone buy a game on launch day at full RRP if they’re going to have to wait weeks or months for a stable patching? Not to mention DLC support that will only come later (or, in those perverse, business-minded circumstances, deliberately withheld from the beginning). This is the treatment I’m coming to expect as a primarily PC gamer and I deserve better.

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