In 2018, I moved into a larger house, which finally gave me enough space to set up a computer desk. Prior to that, my rig was set up to the family television. The computer is now tucked into a cranny opposite our kitchen, which we call “Daddy’s Space”. In our old house, the PC was off limits until everyone went to bed – good luck taking over the family living room TV for gaming when you have an 8-year-old, a 12-year-old, and a wife who loves binging “Shark Tank”. Now, I have PC gaming access 24/7, so there is no longer the need to bide my time until I can launch an adventure.
I made a bunch of upgrades to my rig in 2018, which I had frankly been afraid to do before. It turns out that cracking open that lid and installing components is fun! I upgraded my GTX 970 GPU to a GTX 1080ti GPU. I jumped from 8GB of RAM to 16GB of RAM. I swapped out my old 1TB hard drive for a 1TB SSD. For a monitor, I picked up an ASUS with G-Sync and a 165Hz refresh rate.
The end result of my tinkering is a platform that absolutely blows away console gaming. I don’t think even the inevitable PlayStation 5 will be able to compete with my current setup. PC is now my platform of choice for AAA gaming. I initially picked up Shadow of the Tomb Raider for the Xbox One X… but got frustrated when I had to choose between having 60fps or a 4K resolution. I wanted both! So that copy went back to GameStop, and I payed up for the PC version. It was a good decision… the game looks absolutely bonkers on PC.
Everything looks better on PC. Dragon Quest XI is candy for the eyes on the PC. The vistas in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey – which gobbled up more than 70 hours of my life this year – bordered on photoreal. Getting Destiny 2 for free was a treat, and the visuals on display made me say ‘wow’, over and over again. Once you start playing in 1440p at 60fps, you never want to go back. I’m playing Red Dead Redemption 2 on Xbox One X now, and it looks terrific for a console game, but it doesn’t hold a candle to the PC experiences I’ve become accustomed to.
Of course, I’ve also loved being able to use keyboard and mouse for first-person games. I’ve played Call of Duty IV: Black Ops more than any COD game prior, and it wasn’t because of the addition of a battle royale mode… it’s because the game feels awesome with a keyboard and mouse setup.
I’ve also loved being able to tap into Steam sales, and enjoy the best version of EA Access. I now have no shortage of exciting titles on-hand to enjoy. The biggest challenge I now face is deciding between Monster Hunter World, Dvinity II, Darksiders III, or Forza Horizons 4, which are all sitting on my desktop, eager to be opened.
And when I travel, the adventures continue! My professional laptop sports a GTX 1070, so thanks to the magic of cloud saving, I can play my PC games even when I’m out of town or on vacation in a remote location.
2018 is the year I became a PC-first gamer. The air is great up here!