Lifetap Volume 1.0 - Issue 053
During a recent discussion with resident Windows 10 skeptic and managing editor of Ten Ton Hammer, David “Xerin” Piner, the subject of Gigantic’s system requirements ultimately bubbled up to the surface. This type of exchange is somewhat common as we regularly discuss upcoming games, especially those we’re very keen on playing.
To be fair, I’ve had far more exposure to Gigantic up to this point thanks to numerous hands-on demos during industry events. I’ve also interviewed members of the development team at Motiga on multiple occasions, so have gained some additional insights into many of the design decisions for Gigantic.
When it comes to choice of working with Microsoft to optimize the game for Windows 10, I consider it a smart move for a number of reasons. Partnering with the software behemoth as a game developer is not the questionable decision it once was, and we’ve seen firsthand over the past couple of years how the move has been highly beneficial.
A perfect example would be another studio local to Seattle, Undead Labs with the Year One Survival Edition for State of Decay. Even though the main focus for that release may have been on bringing the game to Xbox One, it was also a boon for PC players thanks to the free updates and upgrades it brought to the game.
The Seattle area is an interesting one in terms of games development, as it somewhat mirrors certain aspects of musical culture. Many of the designers, artists, and programmers in the area have worked together over the years on various projects, and it comes as no real surprise to me that the area has regularly been at the forefront when it comes to online gaming. The legacy of companies of Valve, ArenaNet, Blizzard North, Runic Games, and countless others simply cannot be overlooked.
In much the same spirit, Motiga is once again embracing the future with Gigantic rather than attempting to hold onto the past in order to increase market share. People thought the developers of EverQuest were totally nuts for creating a game that would require players to upgrade their GPU, and look how that turned out for the MMO industry.
Platform Launch Exclusives
There is a longstanding tradition of platform exclusives in the gaming industry. Those launch titles can play a large role in adoption rates, giving gamers a reason to either upgrade from a previous console, or make a decision between major brands. I will openly admit that launch titles like Dead Rising 3 played a role in my choice to purchase an Xbox One over the PlayStation 4 at the time.
In much the same way, you have to look at Gigantic as a launch title for Windows 10. While the game obviously wasn’t released on day one with the new OS, it is one of the first triple-A titles that will be exclusive to Win10 and Xbox One. I consider this a smart decision on the part of both Motiga and Microsoft and one that will ultimately help showcase the benefits of embracing the new ecosystem the two platforms help solidify.
Tinfoil Hats Are Totally 2004
One of the many gripes that Xerin notes in his recent op-ed on the subject is the data collection factored into the Win10 experience. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, it is common knowledge that our personal data and usage behaviors are being actively collected by major corporations. If this is a completely new concept to you, do yourself a favor and Google the name Edward Snowden sometime.
Speaking of Google, the search engine giant is perhaps one of the worst offenders in this area, and is far more aggressive about it than Microsoft could ever hope to be. Let’s face the facts, here. We live in a culture where we willingly carry microphones and GPS tracking devices with us everywhere we go. We sign into Google or Apple services and willingly allow them to collect all sorts of personal information about our lives as a result.
If the concept frightens you, we’ve embraced this as a necessary evil of the current state of technology almost to the point of no return. While I would never claim to be happy about the sacrifices we’re culturally making in terms of our privacy, it still becomes a very weak argument against upgrading your OS to play a video game.
So sorry Xerin, your arguments simply don’t hold up in that regard. Maybe back in 2004 when you began happily handing over personal information to Google via Gmail it would have had an impact. We all knew it was happening, yet allowed ourselves to continue falling further down the rabbit hole anyway.
Gigantic Also Happens to Kick Much Ass
At the end of the day, it is up to gamers which platforms they choose to embrace in order to play new games. I know plenty of people who own a version of the Nintendo DS, even though I would personally never touch the thing with a ten ton pole. I also don’t play games on Facebook, nor do I own an Android device.
I’m a core PC gamer through and through, and want to continue seeing my preferred platform flourish. Acknowledging when a generational shift is beginning to happen – whether it be your OS, GPU, CPU, or other system component – is only going to help make PC gaming a better experience for everyone in the long run.
Having played Gigantic, I would absolutely state that it is an amazing competitive gaming experience. It neatly bundles all the things I love about MMO battlegrounds and group dungeons with major elements of core MOBAs, and packages it in such a way that the entire experience is highly kinetic and engaging. While I haven’t played the Xbox One client yet, I fully expect that it will become a massive title on that platform as well, and will influence competitive multiplayer titles moving forward.
At the end of the day it is up to each of us to decide whether the switch to Windows 10 is worth it, but the price is certainly right (free), and it is an improvement over previous versions of the OS in nearly every way.
And, for what it’s worth, Gigantic also happens to be a kick-ass video game.
To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Gigantic Game Page.