I don’t have a whole hell of a lot to talk about this morning, in part because I had a pretty rough night. It was one of those evenings where I started to inexplicably run out of steam around 9 pm. Then when I went to bed… instead of falling asleep peacefully as it seemed would be the case I wound up tossing and turning until 12:30. The other futile thing that I attempted was running Mass Effect Andromeda on my laptop. Granted my laptop is not that old nor is it that far behind the curve. It is a 4000 series i7 mobile processor and contains GeForce 960M graphics… which I thought would largely be sufficient to run the game at a reasonable resolution. However that is very much not the case and in order to get a decent frame rate I have to functionally run everything on low settings. A good chunk of the night I was attempting to run around on Havarl, which is a ground clutter dense world… and a relatively dark world… making the less than optimal set up feel even more so. Instead of roaming around like I actually wanted to…. I wound up going after the objective with a laser focus and getting the hell out of there.
Which leads me to Voeld… aka “Not-Hoth” an icy world that legends tell didn’t used to be so. That has such cold that it taxes my suits life support and forces me to ping pong around the map going between sheltered Daars and Forward Bases. This also has me fighting way more Kett which is a good thing… because in truth I kinda felt bad killing the evil Angara. Whatever the case I did not really feel like I made much progress last night. Sure I landed on the homeworld on a new species and started running errands for them… but the lo-fi version of the game kept me from enjoying it nearly as much as I would have liked. For running on what seems to be a souped up version of the Dragon Age Inquisition engine… it certainly requires a lot more in the way of system resources. That has been the weirdest part about this console generation… it doesn’t seem like we have hit the plateau yet. During the PS3/Xbox 360 era of console games there was a clear point where PC power definitely outstripped the games that were being built and ultimately ported from the consoles. However with the PS4/Xbox One games… it feels like we have yet to hit that pint and these games are still rather taxing on hardware pending you want them to look reasonably decent. I am sure the PS4 Pro/Scorpio machinations will only serve to increase the ceiling of this process as well.
So the end result is that laptop gaming does not feel nearly as viable now as it once did. Were this a Steam game I could simply stream it from my upstairs machine and life would be golden. However given that it is marooned in Origin land, that seems less viable. There are of course tricks that you can do to make this work under steam in home streaming, but I attempted most of these during my many attempts to get into Dragon Age Inquisition and it never really worked as well as I hoped it would. Either I would get a black screen while streaming, or the game would simply get stranded and stay open forever on my gaming desktop. I wish there was a viable platform agnostic streaming option, but none of the remote desktop applications are really designed for high frame rate/high resolution streaming. I want to be able to play the game 1080p and as close to 60 fps as I can get…. over my AC band wireless connection and so far Steam in home streaming is the only thing optimized enough to pull that off. Splashtop works fairly well for mobile device resolutions, but not for the desktop. In any case Mass Effect may simply be an upstairs online game for me, and I will be limited to something else while chilling on the sofa.