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Introduction

I was originally going to title this ‘my hardware’ but thought it was a little too risqué. Just in case anyone wants to know, which is unlikely, my PC is currently made of (yes, I’m a fan of lists):

  • Intel i5 2500K at 3.3GHz (i.e. stock)
  • Asus P8Z68-V Pro motherboard
  • 2x4GB G.Skill Ripjaws DDR3 1600MHz RAM
  • MSI GTX 680 Twin Frozr III/OC 2GB
  • Corsair 850W 80+ Pro Gold PSU
  • Asus Xonar DX sound card
  • Some sort of wi-fi card
  • Crucial M4 128GB SSD
  • Hitachi Deskstar 2TB HDD
  • Generic DVD-ROM drive
  • Fractal Design Define R3 Black case
  • Two Fractal Design 140mm fans, two Scythe Gentle Typhoon 140mm fans and one Yate Loon 180mm fan

That is all. It started off with a GTX 580 (MSI Twin Frozr II/OC) but then I discovered the GTX 680 consumed less power (and would therefore be cooler and quieter) and could run at least three displays at once, so I upgraded. I use it with three Samsung 226BW 22″ monitors at 1680×1050, for a total resolution of 5040×1050. I have all three mounted on a home-made sim racing rig (which also has a Logitech G27 bolted to it) which has since become my general computing seat. I also use an Apple wired full aluminium keyboard and a Logitech G500 mouse and I sometimes use a wired Xbox 360 controller for some games, but not often. So, really, that wasn’t all at all.

The total cost for the PC must be in the region of about £1,500 now, after I went over my original £1,000 budget I stopped counting. All I want to upgrade now is the CPU cooler (using the stock Intel one at the moment), ideally to a Corsair H80 so I can overclock to around 4.4GHz or so. Of course if my case officially supported it, I’d have the H100, but you can’t win them all.

That was the first and only deliberately techy post, I may mention hardware in other posts but I’ll try to avoid it as it’s irrelevant.

TL, DR: My PC plays games!

Oh, the list. It’s a long one so I hope you’ve brought something more interesting to read:

  • 1000 Amps
  • AirMech (beta, I believe)
  • Alien Swarm
  • Aliens versus Predator Classic 2000
  • Aliens vs. Predator (Sega)
  • Alpha Protocol
  • Altitude
  • Amnesia: The Dark Descent
  • And Yet It Moves
  • APB Reloaded
  • Aquaria
  • Arma II
  • Arma II: Operation Arrowhead
  • Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood
  • Atom Zombie Smasher
  • Batman: Arkham City
  • Battlefield 2
  • Battlefield: Bad Company 2
  • Ben There, Dan That!
  • The Binding of Isaac
  • BioShock 2
  • BIT.TRIP BEAT
  • BIT.TRIP RUNNER
  • Blocks That Matter
  • Borderlands
  • Braid
  • Breath of Death VII
  • Brothers In Arms: Earned In Blood
  • Brothers In Arms: Hell’s Highway
  • Brothers In Arms: Road to Hill 30
  • Burnout Paradise: The Ultimate Box
  • Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood
  • Cargo! – The Quest For Gravity
  • Cave Story+
  • The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena
  • Cogs
  • Command and Conquer 4: Tiberian Twilight
  • Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3
  • Commandos 2: Men of Courage
  • Commandos 3: Destination Berlin
  • Commandos: Behind Enemy Lines
  • Commandos: Beyond the Call of Duty
  • Counter-Strike: Source
  • Crayon Physics Deluxe
  • Crysis
  • Crysis Warhead
  • Crysis Wars
  • Cthulhu Saves the World
  • Darwinia
  • Day of Defeat: Source
  • DCS: Black Shark
  • Dead Island
  • Dead Space
  • Dear Esther
  • DEFCON
  • Deus Ex: Game of the Year Edition
  • Deus Ex: Human Revolution
  • Deus Ex: Human Revolution – The Missing Link
  • Deus Ex: Invisible War
  • The Dig
  • Digital Combat Simulator: A-10C Warthog
  • DiRT
  • DiRT 3
  • Doom 3
  • Doom 3: Resurrection of Evil
  • Doom II: Hell on Earth
  • Dungeons of Dredmor
  • E.Y.E: Divine Cybermancy
  • Evochron Mercenary
  • F1 2011
  • Fallen Earth
  • Fallout
  • Fallout 2
  • Fallout 3 – Game of the Year Edition
  • Fallout Tactics
  • Fallout: New Vegas
  • Far Cry
  • Far Cry 2
  • Final Doom
  • Frozen Synapse
  • Galcon Fusion
  • Garry’s Mod
  • Gemini Rue
  • Gish
  • Grand Theft Auto
  • Grand Theft Auto 2
  • Grand Theft Auto III
  • Grand Theft Auto IV
  • Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
  • Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
  • Gratuitous Space Battles
  • GRID
  • Half-Life 2
  • Half-Life 2: Episode One
  • Half-Life 2: Episode Two
  • Half-Life 2: Lost Coast
  • Half-Life Deathmatch: Source
  • Half-Life: Blue Shift
  • Half-Life: Opposing Force
  • Half-Life: Source
  • Hammerfight
  • Hard Reset
  • Hitman 2: Silent Assassin
  • Hitman: Blood Money
  • Hitman: Codename 47
  • IL-2 Sturmovik: 1946
  • Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet
  • Inside a Star-filled Sky
  • Jamestown
  • Jolly Rover
  • Just Cause 2
  • Killing Floor
  • L.A. Noire
  • Left 4 Dead
  • Left 4 Dead 2
  • LIMBO
  • Lone Survivor
  • The Longest Journey
  • Lunar Flight
  • Machinarium
  • Mafia
  • Mafia II
  • Magicka
  • Mass Effect
  • Mass Effect 2
  • Master Levels for Doom II
  • Max Payne
  • Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne
  • Medal of Honor (2010)
  • Metro 2033
  • Microsoft Flight
  • Midnight Club II
  • Mirror’s Edge
  • Multiwinia
  • Myst: Masterpiece Edition
  • Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit
  • Need for Speed: Shift
  • NightSky
  • Oddworld: Abe’s Exoddus
  • Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee
  • Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee
  • Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath
  • Offspring Fling!
  • Osmos
  • Payday: The Heist
  • The Polynomial
  • Portal
  • Portal 2
  • Psychonauts
  • Quake
  • Quake 4
  • Quake II
  • Quake II: Ground Zero
  • Quake II: The Reckoning
  • Quake III Arena
  • Quake III: Team Arena
  • Quake Mission Pack 1: Scourge of Armagon
  • Quake Mission Pack 2: Dissolution of Eternity
  • Race 07 (with almost all of the add-ons and DLC)
  • Rage
  • Really Big Sky
  • realMyst
  • Red Faction
  • Red Faction II
  • Red Faction: Armageddon
  • Red Faction: Guerrilla
  • Revenge of the Titans
  • Riven
  • S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat
  • S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky
  • S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl
  • Saints Row: The Third
  • Sanctum
  • Shadowgrounds
  • Shadowgrounds: Survivor
  • Shank
  • Shattered Horizon
  • The Ship
  • Sniper Elite
  • Sniper Elite V2
  • SpaceChem
  • Star Wars – Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast
  • Star Wars – Jedi Knight: Mysteries of the Sith
  • Star Wars Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II
  • Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy
  • Star Wars Republic Commando
  • Star Wars: Dark Forces
  • Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
  • Star Wars: The Force Unleashed
  • Steel Storm: Burning Retribution
  • Super Meat Boy
  • Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP
  • Take On Helicopters
  • Team Fortress 2
  • Terraria
  • Test Drive Unlimited 2
  • Thief: Deadly Shadows
  • Time Gentlemen, Please!
  • Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon
  • Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter 2
  • Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Desert Siege
  • Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Island Thunder
  • Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X.
  • Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X. 2
  • Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six 3: Athena Sword
  • Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six 3: Gold Edition
  • Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Vegas
  • Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Vegas 2
  • Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory
  • Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Conviction
  • TrackMania Nations Forever
  • TRAUMA
  • Trine
  • The Ultimate Doom
  • Universe Sandbox
  • Uplink
  • Vertex Dispenser
  • The Void
  • VVVVVV
  • Waves
  • Windosill
  • Wings of Prey
  • World of Goo
  • Zombie Driver
  • Zombie Driver 2

Phew. If you think that took long to read, you didn’t write the bloody thing. But wait! There’s more!

Origin games:

  • Battlefield 3
  • Dead Space 2
  • Crysis 2
  • Need For Speed: Shift 2 Unleashed

Good Old Games (gog.com):

  • Descent
  • Descent 2
  • Descent 3
  • Freespace
  • Freespace 2
  • Shogo – Mobile Armor Division
  • Syndicate

Non-Steam indie bundle games:

  • 1893
  • DLC Quest
  • Lair of the Evildoer
  • Metal Dead
  • The Sea Will Claim Everything
  • The Shivah

Other games:

  • rFactor
  • Live For Speed
  • GT Legends
  • GTR2
  • Simraceway
  • GP Legends
  • Richard Burns Rally
  • Colin McRae Rally 04
  • Colin McRae Rally 2005
  • DiRT 2
  • Driver: San Francisco
  • Operation Flashpoint: Red River
  • Escape Velocity: Nova
  • Minecraft.

That’s it for PC games so far, I think. I’m not going to be doing these in any real order either.

Good evening.

So, an introduction is order I suppose. I’m 25 years old, mostly unemployed and currently occupying a beard. Not much else is really relevant I guess. My gaming history (the relevance of this will become apparent) has gone something like this: Mega Drive II > Playstation > Playstation 2 > Dreamcast > Playstation 3 > PC. I’ve also always had games for whatever Apple computers have been around at the time. So with that out of the way, I’ll explain what this blog is about.

First of all, the name. The ‘Gabe’ I refer to is none other than Gabriel Newell, otherwise known as ‘Gaben’. If you know who he is then you’ll understand and probably sympathise with the purpose of this blog. If you don’t know who he is then all you need to know is that his company, Valve, started up a service called Steam, which is basically the iTunes of games; you pick, you pay, you download and then you play. Or, in my case, you pick, you play, you download, then you do something else until you accumulate a massive backlog of games so daunting that you’d rather just play what you know.

And that is the point of this blog. I intend to review all of the games in my Steam library, aka ‘the huge backlog I’ve still got to play through’, and probably my gaming backlog in general (yes, the Steam effect spreads), PC or otherwise. This means playing each game for at least long enough to gain a decent understanding of what it’s really about so that I can deliver a nice, balanced review of each game to help inform and inspire some decisions, hopefully the kind of decisions that make you go ‘holy crap, this guy’s got a lot of games, I prefer money’ and thus make you decide that no, you don’t need to buy Gunman VII: The Gunnening just because it’s 90% off on that particular day.

At this point I suppose I should point out what to expect and what not to expect.

What to expect

Honest opinions. This simply means that I’m human, just like you (presumably), I will have preferences and un-preferences and I’m not immune to bias and fanboyism. However, I will try my best to maintain objectivity and I will never praise or slate a game without good reason.

Made up words, such as ‘un-preferences’.

The English English spellings of certain words, for I am indeed, English. Possibly some mild bad language too but I’ll endeavour to keep it down.

Racing sims and, to an extent, flight sims. I do enjoy both of those, even if I’m not particularly good at them.

I will probably focus more on the offline modes of most games for several reasons (the main one being a poor internet connection), but if the multiplayer is more than a token effort I will try them out and report on those too.

DLC reviews. I will mention DLC that I already own if I own it at the time of writing (and if it’s worth mentioning), otherwise I may do small posts after the fact or edit the original review if I buy the DLC shortly after posting.

Graphs, charts and diagrams; I have a degree in graphic communication where I specialised in this sort of stuff. I have none planned but you never know when I might pop one out.

Playstation and Playstation 3 games, because I still play those from time to time and actually have some I haven’t touched yet.

What not to expect

Strategy, tower defence, fantasy RPG, MMORPG, or Free to Play games. Can’t stand them, but one or two may pop up.

Punctuality. I’m not intending to post every day, but I might, it depends on what I’m playing. If a few hours is enough to get a decent idea of a game then so be it, but it may take more time than that.

Completion. I’m not planning on completing every game, I’ll play until I’m too bored to continue, until I feel I’ve had my money’s worth from a certain game or just until I feel like moving on. I generally tend to be a completionist for games I love or that I spent a lot of money on, however.

Videos. The reason I’ve not started a YouTube channel is because I don’t like talking to a computer. I may post gameplay videos and screenshots, I may not, I’ll see how I feel as time goes on.

Spoilers. I will avoid spoiling a game as best I can, if I do post anything spoilerous then I will provide adequate warning. By ‘spoiler’ I mean: anything plot related, anything that’s supposed to be a surprise, anything that I personally loved that I don’t want to ruin for anyone else.

Review scores. I don’t agree with scores for many reasons, the most important one being that they imply Game A is objectively better than/worse than/the same as Game B, regardless of genre, budget, age, features and so on. I will include a TL, DR (too long, didn’t read) version when I remember to, though, so you can still skip to the end and enjoy a brief summary. Please note: If you do at any point see anything resembling a score, it’s probably sarcastic. If not, it definitely won’t be serious.

That’ll do for now. I should probably mention that I will post reviews of games I’ve already played, just because I want to.

TL, DR: This blog consists of me reviewing the huge amount of games I’ve bought but never played. JOIN ME.