Sunday, 5 February 2012

game me away

This weekend I've spenty most of my free time playing games.

I did the same last weekend, but there's a key difference - this weekend it feels like I've bumbed the time away, not doing anything that's really productive.  And I still feel that, even though I spent half the time last weekend waiting for the game to install.

I mean, that's pretty much wasted time - I wasn't actually playing the game, but I couldn't really just leave it in case anything went wrong and it needed my attention.  But still, it's this weekend that I feel I've wasted the time.

So why the difference?  In both instances I was gaming, but last weekend I played a game I'd never played before - homefront- whereas this weekend I've been playing Civ 3.

Homefront was okay.  It was a first person shooter and has a very similar story to modern warfare, in that America is being invaded and you have to fight the invaders.  In homefront you're a resistance fighter, which actually makes it a bit more like a cross between half life 2 and modern warfare.

In homefront it was the Koreans invading, rather than the Russians.  However, it didn't make a huge difference, although the plot was different enough to make it interesting.  And it's not a bad plot - it's a bit cliché and a bit jingo-istic, but well enough executed to be enjoyable.

It was very short, though.  I was sort of expecting it would take me a couple of days to get through, especially with the huge time it took to load, but it only took about 6 hours of playing.  And that's bearing in mind I'm crap at games and there are no cheat codes to help me.

The load time really was long.  Part of the problem was that initially it tried to install from steam, despite having it on disk.  However, I recalled you can get it to install from disk and once I'd done that it was quite quick.

The bit that took ages was once it had been installed it then went and downloaded updates from steam.  Obviously there was nothing I could really do about that apart from let it do it, but the real problem was that the updates were around 4.5gb!

To put that into some sort of perspective, the game installed from disk was about 7.5gb.  That means the updates were more than half as much again. 

Obviously I was hooked up to the cable broadband, but 4.5 soon ate through the limits and the throttling kicked in, so it must have taken something like 3 hours to install all the updates!

Quite how they can release a game that then acquires 4.5gb of updates, I don't know.

Anyway, homefront was okay, if short, so that was fine.

Problem has been this week I've been listening tot eh civ5 podcasts when I've been walking.  I've had these for ages and figured I should finally listen to them.  And listening them gave me a strong hankering to play civ3.

I know 3 - 5 - eh?  Well, problem with 5 is I'd need to uninstall homefront and then steam then reinstall steam and re-install 5.  I played it very briefly when I first got 5 but it was so buggy I gave up almost immediately...which made me afraid I would have another 4 hour session downloading updates!

So Installed 3.  What I should have done is waited until Sunday, but I installed it early on Saturday and it's only really now on Sunday evening I'm thinking about putting it on hold for the rest of the day.

I mean, don't get me wrong, I've enjoyed playing it, but I should be doing something like playing another game I haven't played.  Not least of all because if it's not so good I could sell it on e-bay.

Not that e-bay's a hugely practical proposition at the moment, with the contracting.  However, I think I'm finally getting my head around the timings with the flexi-time.  I even went and did a bit of washing on Friday evening, which was good as it freed me up to go get a haircut on Saturday morning, rather than sit in the laundrette.

As I say, now that I'm getting used to it, hopefully I'll get some more time to do different bits in the evening.

It snowed last night, but it's been a little warmer today and there's been no additional snow and no indication on the forecast it will snow, so I don't think the place I'm working will be closed.  Hopefully this is the only bit of snow we have this year.  It's been quite mild this winter and I think we really needed one - the last few have just been a real drag.