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Preparing to Play Company of Heroes and Crysis

August 20, 2008

Yesterday I installed a Company of Heroes and Crysis on my home office PC. These were the first retail PC games I had installed in over a year.

For the past couple of years I have been playing most games on the Xbox 360 mainly because even solo gameplay on consoles has seemed inherently more social: I on the same floor as my wife and kids, even if they are in another room; and often the kids like to watch me play and this is much easier on a large TV.

But there are some other reasons as well: the console gameplay experience is much more plug and play that that of the PC (where installation (and maybe more) is necessary before actually playing the game); I am not a real time strategy game aficionado and, with three young children, I have lacked the long stretches of free time for turn based strategy games (both genres where the PC has traditionally shined); and lastly, it annoyed me that I could not play the most recent showcase game for PC graphics (Crysis) in its full glory on my 1600×1200 desktop monitor using the geForce 8800 GTS video card I had purchased with my PC.

What has finally lured me back to the PC is the nVidia geForce GTX 260 graphics card. With the release of this card, I could finally play Crysis at 1600×1200 on my PC for less than $300. So I purchased that card, Crysis and Company of Heroes (the two games I had most missed in my PC gaming hiatus) from Newegg for a grand total of about $330 and installed everything yesterday.

The graphics card installation went smoothly. I installed it, connected dual power connectors, downloaded the most recent nVidia WHQL certified graphics drivers and was set– although the PCs CPU use was high for a good while after the installation for some odd reason.

I installed Crysis, applied the patches and tried to start the game. It failed. It turns out you have to start the game each time before applying the patches, so I had to uninstall Crysis and the reinstall everything using that method. Success.

Company of Heroes (the gold edition that includes Opposing Fronts) installed without any issues, but when the game tried to download the two necessary patches itself the process often go stuck after only about 1MB had been downloaded. Finally, yesterday evening, I was able to complete this process.

Unfortunately, with all this time spent on installation I’ve only just been able to start to Company of Heroes tutorial– but it looks excellent. In fact, it reminds me of Myth looked when I first saw it 10 years ago!

 

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