Friday, November 18, 2005

PC Games: F.E.A.R. - Be Afraid!

11.18.05 - One of the most awaited computer games this year is making a lot of eager gamers mad. Unfortunately, I am one of them.

Before I get into the details, let me warn you: being a computer-game fan can be hazardous to your health. You spend serious money on hardware and software, gambling that things will work smoothly, only to discover you are stuck with a useless, defective product that you cannot even return for a refund (retailers won't take back opened software.) You're a loser even before you take the plunge.

Since I bought a copy of F.E.A.R., I barely had a chance to enjoy it. After I successfully installed it, I enjoyed playing game on my fast new computer, with the top-of-the-line video card, the NVidia 7800GTX. Then, without warning, the game started stuttering and gameplay became choppy, rendering the game unplayable. I have spent days, literally, replacing my video card, installing a new power supply, updating drivers, talking to the hardware's tech support—but the problem persisted.

After reinstalling Windows, I attempted to reinstall the game. Then the frustration really started: the game would not to install! Repeatedly generating indecipherable error messages, the game refused to complete its installation. I spent hours trying to figure out the problem—to no avail.

The game's tech support site and user forums proved useless, offering solutions that didn't work to scores of frustrated gamers. More hours wasted only to hit a brick wall.

I spent hundreds of dollars for a new computer, and countless hours trying to solve these problems, just to play one lousy game. And after all that, I still cannot play it!

Do I feel helpless? No, I feel impotent. I feel like screaming.

The next time you plan to invest your money, time and effort in a computer game, remember you do so at your own risk. Ask yourself: Is it worth it?