I feel bad about ragging on DICE. They are one of the few big developers who seem to appreciate the act of developing a game for the PC. Don’t worry — this doesn’t mean that I’m not going to rag on them, because I am. I just want to make it clear that all of my comments come with a back end of appreciation.
After Infinity Ward released Modern Warfare 2 and asked their PC fanbase to spend sixty dollars for a PC game lacking many of the features that distinguish a PC game from a console game, mainly dedicated server support, DICE saw an opportunity to gain favor with PC gamers. DICE acted like Infinity Ward had tried to sell PC gamers a mule that was missing its saddle, reins, and had three broken legs. DICE assured us that they were also working on a mule, but their mule had a saddle, reins, and legs molded out of something indestructible like Dick Cheney.
I thought DICE’s “WE LOVE YOU PC GAMERZ!!!” PR blitz was a little transparent but warranted given Infinity Ward’s and Activision’s insistence of charging sixty dollars to rape much of PC gaming’s identity. But recently DICE released a PC walkthrough trailer for Battlefield: Bad Company 2 that takes the PC pandering a little far.
In the video, a lot of time is dedicated to explaining how the PC version of Battlefield: Bad Company 2 has innovative PC specific features like menus, a server browser, and a user interface that can be navigated without taking notes and remembering patterns like its a game of Simon.
Perhaps DICE needs to point these things out given the amount of unusable shit that many developers have the balls to port to PC, but I think DICE has an opportunity to be better. The video comes off as a little shallow, a little too concerned with nailing down as many disgruntled PC gamers as possible. And I’m also concerned with the effect that packaging basic game functionality as “unique pc features” will have on continued development for the PC. Hell, if the PC gaming base does synchronized cartwheels over the ability to navigate past a game’s main menu and dedicated server support, what’s the point of pushing the envelope?