Darksiders

Remember when I said that I might post fun little rants? No…? Well, here is my first one.

So yesterday I decided that I needed to play some games and ended up choosing Darksiders, a hack and slash set on post apocalyptic earth. Should be easy to get into and put down again, right? Wrong!

So what went wrong, you might ask? Well let me tell you. I fired up the game and immediately headed over to the controls section so I could get the button config and set up my Orbweaver, which is where I hit the first snag. The only thing being shown under the control section is the Xbox controller with no discernible keyboard controls and only a single mention of a mouse. Not a problem, I thought to myself, I’ll just tough it out and figure out the keyboard mapping myself. So I jumped straight into a new game only to find that neither mouse nor keyboard mashing resulted in any action on screen.

A major problem, maybe the game only support Xbox controllers? I headed for the font of all knowledge (aka Google) and started searching around quickly discovering multiple threads on the Steam forums that detail the problem. Turns out that when the game detects a gamepad in the system it switches to gamepad mode with no way to switch it back to the keyboard. A major problem for me as this means I have to unplug the Orbweaver (which presents itself as a gamepad among other things) and return to my regular old keyboard. This finally gave me access to the regular keyboard controls and the ability to play the game, which quickly brings us to the second snag.

The camera control is extremely sensitive to mouse input. Even the most minor twitch will scroll the view around like crazy. True, I run my mouse at a high (4500) dpi but it has never had quite this effect. Luckily I can adjust the sensitivity (down to about 500 dpi) but this makes the in-menu cursor a drag to use. On the fly adjustments help, but what would you do if your mouse wasn’t adjustable?

I am fairly confident that the developers working on the PC port have neither fancy gaming keyboards nor mice. It seems as if they simply pushed the game over without a though for those of us who run gear that might present itself as a gamepad even when it isn’t one per se. The option to disable the Xbox controller as an input device is available in many ports and really cannot be all that hard to implement, but then again maybe the developers aren’t really PC gamers.

It is sad that PC gamers are being treated as second class citizens by the gaming industry. Most companies think it is acceptable to build a console game and then simply port is over to the PC, strapping on a few (if any) graphic improvements. In my opinion games should be developed for the PC first so that it can make full use of the powerful hardware and large amounts of memory with any features that are not available on the consoles being stripped out when the game is ported. To attempt to add “improvements” to a game which doesn’t support it simply comes off as cheap and usually ends up looking crappy. (Yeah, this is dwelling a bit off topic, we’ll return to this sub-rant at a later time)

Anyways, at the end of the day Darksiders turned out to be quite a fun game if you are willing to look past the few initial snags. True, it doesn’t really push the graphical limits, but the concept is solid and it makes for a fun way to whittle away a few hours.

 
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