Top 5 Better PC Ports Than Consoles
PC vs. The console is a fight that will definitely last through eternity. Though some manufacturers like Microsoft, are trying to remove the line between these two by releasing their every new game on Windows 10 and Xbox One at the same time with features like cross-buy and cross-play, there is a major player like Sony who is making some of their new titles as ‘timed-exclusives’ and making the whole gaming community happy. The raw hardware difference between these two though would never be gone, but still can be cut down with the release of more powerful consoles such as PS4 Neo and Project Scorpio. Then it all calms down and within a year and the PC is declared more powerful than them again. A case in point is that none of the current flagship consoles can handle 4K or even 2K; the Xbox One can’t even manage 1080p half the time. But it all depends on the quality of the PC port of the game, often overlooked by the developers and publishers, who are always aiming for a successful console release. Let’s take a look at some games that managed to show the use that they can make the PC’s hardware efficiently –
Whilst we wait for the Skyrim remastered edition for Xbox One and PlayStation 4, the PC version of the game is the only place that it looks decent. Remember, after all, that the Xbox 360 has 512MB of memory dynamically shared between RAM and the video card – which is way less than any modern mobile phone, let alone a modern PC. Hence both Skyrim and Oblivion on Xbox 360 are amazing technical achievements, but the definitive version is on PC. If you love open world fantasy games, PC is your home.
The Steam version also has an integrated mod support, meaning you can just pick a mod from a huge curated database, including free stuff made by Valve and other professional developers.
4. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Pop The Witcher 3 disc into ye olde faithful Xbox One, and you may be completely lost as to why anyone would ever consider this one of the most graphically impressive games of the generation. Launch it from your Steam or GOG library, however, and you’ll see what they mean when they say that consoles held The Witcher 3 back from achieving its full potential.
With the first two games having been developed for PC and then ported over to consoles, the third title in the series took a detour, with the developer and publisher CD Projekt Red releasing Wild Hunt on all three platforms simultaneously. The developer even admitted to the visual burden the console versions of the game put on their PC counterpart, asserting that the only reason they were created at all was to secure a sufficient enough budget. Tells a lot about a developer under pressure.
3. Dragon Age
Dragon Age is Bioware’s flagship fantasy series and, whilst its flagship science fantasy series Mass Effect is inarguably better with a gamepad, the first iteration of this Baldur’s Gate wannabe was certainly superior with a mouse and keyboard, due to extremely clunky controls on the gamepad, and a pseudo-Infinity Engine interface. It also looked much better on the high-resolution monitor of a PC compared to the 1080p limits of an HDTV (which with the previous-gen consoles was always heavily upscaled.)
The second game felt like more of an action-oriented Mass Effect sequel than the first game, and the third game felt more like it wanted to be a single-player MMO like Kingdoms of Amalur, with a confusing tactical planner that only made sense with a mouse. But they both benefitted from the PC’s improved graphics punch and superior control schemes. It’s just a pity that neither of them is on Steam. The new gen ports of the game sure are better but it doesn’t eradicate the fact that the initial console version was barely playable and was not appreciated by the community.
2. Battlefield Series
It’s hard to remember now but the PC was always the traditional home of the FPS – until Halo came along, the argument was that you just couldn’t do an FPS on a console. So Battlefield was born on PC in 2002, with Battlefield 1942, Vietnam, Road to Rome, and Secret Weapons of WWII arriving before Battlefield 2 came out on Xbox 360 just after the console’s launch. And again, given the weaknesses of the system, it wasn’t exactly a PC killer.
The control system was equally important, given that the game involves tanks, helicopters, and planes. And it has to be said that playing on PC is much easier, given the access to all forms of control – sniping is more accurate with a mouse and flying is steadier with a joystick. And there are even more players on the servers on Battlefield 4 PC. Console versions either suffered from severe frame drops or the nondynamic low resolutions like 720p and 900p which would look even worse on a Full HD TV. Nonetheless, it couldn’t provide the gameplay experience players were hoping for.
1. Grand Theft Auto V
The proper definition of being better late than ever. PC port sure can’t do anything for GTA’s misanthropic, misogynist characters, but it sure makes them look better as they roam its unique, huge world. The GTA series started on PC, back in the days of DMA Design, but when Rockstar took over, the firm brought GTA III out on PlayStation 2 (though it followed on PC around half a year later).
Essentially, the reason the PC version is superior is that it always comes out with all the expansions, bug fixes, and then has a keen modding community who ensure that it takes advantage of the latest hardware (similar to the awful Dark Souls PC port, which had a day one fix from modders to make it run at vaguely reasonable resolutions.)
GTA V came to PC, a bare two years after the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions. Rockstar normally takes its sweet time to ‘convert’ each game – even though every game was built in Windows first! (We suspect the real reason for the delay has always been to maximise console sales, and minimise the inevitable PC piracy).
Even better than being hugely more beautiful on PC, all the bugs will be fixed (which they weren’t with GTA IV), and it won’t look as terrible as GTA IV did before the PC community’s seemingly endless supply of highly talented mod-engineers set about it with the pretty hammer.