Three weeks on the road and nowhere to hang my hat, how do you deal with life without your desktop gaming powerhouse? This is my situation, struggling to get my fix as I chase the dragon that is gaming addiction. I know many probably have great gaming laptops and may be able to game on the road without a huge sacrifice from their home gaming system. Unfortunately I am not one of those lucky people, my laptop is a recycled candidate for the Smithsonian that I’ve tweaked a little by installing additional memory and an SSD.
Needless to say, this underpowered road warrior isn’t going to play any of the latest titles very well or at all. Initially I was pretty bummed because I was getting heavy into Elder Scrolls Online, H1Z1 and Shadows of Mordor, then I pulled my panties out of my butt and realized their were plenty of old school games out there begging to be played. I may not have a super computer with this laptop but surely I could dust off some classics that would play well on a i5 2.6ghz cpu and 8gb RAM.
I hit my Steam library and started installing some games I picked up on various Steam sales that I’d never played back in the day and wanted to eventually try. Not only will I be able to get my fix with some nostalgic gaming, I’ll do it on a budget as many of these older games cost less than $5 even when not on sale! First game to try, Torchlight II.
I bought this game awhile back because I already owned the first one on DVD but I have to admit, I never played either of them. The boxed copy was already packed and somewhere on the back of a truck traveling the highways of the US, so why not load up my Steam copy of Torchlght II. I heard from friends and the reviews that this is a great game, the graphics sure looked pretty. Torchlight is an action RPG with a point and click interface, four playable character classes with 3 skill trees per class and even customizable pets. There are randomly generated dungeons to explore, time of day cycles, weather effects and some pretty cool monsters to encounter. The graphics are stunning and I really enjoyed questing around and exploring the dungeons. It plays very well on my laptop without any major performance hits or massive setting reduction. I did experience some slowing after about 2 hours of playing which I’m not sure was my laptop, some sort of memory leak or what was going on. Task manager didn’t show me any massive CPU usage or Memory usage but still the games was stuttering and unplayable. A quick reboot and relaunch and “Game On”!
You know I can’t play just one game, right? So what else can I try on this crusty crate? How about some Max Payne?!
Do I really need to say much about this game? A classic that I have never played (please don’t take away my gamer card!). Sad, but true. I have the whole series and since I like to play games in order, why not take this chance to load up the original Max Payne and give it a chance. The game has system requirements that would allow your mom’s computer to play this thing. It runs flawlessly on the laptop and is an absolute blast to play; great story, fun shoot’em up action and pretty forgiving for an older gamer like myself. I’d almost go so far to say if you’ve never played it and you’re in a situation like me where you’re looking for something that’ll wrong on an old machine, this is a must have.
I have a couple more games to try so I’ll add those to this posting once I have played a few more hours to make sure there are no surprises. All in all, I’m pretty satisfied with this setup and its nice to kinda be forced to play some of these older games that normally get lost when you have the bigger, newer titles screaming “Play Me” on your super rig.
More to come…