Posted in Gaming

GoG Galaxy First Impressions

gog_galaxy_thumb

Last week, I joined the GoG Galaxy beta. GoG Galaxy is an in-development optional client, similar to the Steam client, that gives you access to your GoG game library. It has a nice list of convenient features, most of what you’d hope for from a GoG client:

  • One-Click Install Games
  • Optional Auto-Update Games
  • Offline Support
  • Backup Copies of DRM-Free Game Installers (nice!)
  • Roll-back Games for Troubleshooting
  • Multiplayer Support
  • Achievements
  • Game Tracking and Statistics
  • Crossplay with GoG and Steam (neat!)
  • Game Overlay
  • Friend List
  • Online Chat
  • Game Inviting and Joining with Friends
  • Settings – Turn Off Features You Don’t Want (thank you!)

The two major things the client stresses is that GoG games are always DRM-free, and the client will always be optional.

Overview

The GoG Galaxy client overlapping the GoG website - they're identical
The GoG Galaxy client overlapping the GoG website – they’re identical

Note, this is first-week beta for this client, so things can certainly change. The client installed without a hitch, and I noticed that it pretty much just displays a mirror of the GoG website in a client form. The storefront looks like the website storefront. The game list looks like the new, improved game list. It browses quickly for me, though I didn’t try to purchase anything from the store while testing this.

I noticed that the client did not detect GoG games that I already had installed on my PC. I only had about two of them – Don’t Starve and Neverwinter Nights – but neither appeared in my Installed game list. I went ahead and re-installed Don’t Starve, which went pretty quickly and needed to be updated anyhow. The client recognized the game then.

I don’t know if this is just a beta thing, or if it’s going to be an issue going forward. It’s not a problem for me since I have so few GoG games installed at the moment, but for someone with a slew of titles, it might be an annoyance.

I also noticed that the game time tracking isn’t kicking in. Or, if it does, it doesn’t start recording time until you play for a large amount of time. I launched Don’t Starve and let it sit there for about 5 mins, and didn’t see a change in my tracking number. Could be not working yet? Don’t know. Will have to mess with it more, because time tracking and game statistics is a big draw to me for a client.

I really like the new game library view. I also like that you can label games, somewhat like Steam’s categories, to note games you want to play next, those you have already played, etc. You can even choose to hide the game from your client.

New Game Library View
New Game Library View

I haven’t tested the friends section since I’m anti-social and don’t have friends on GoG. XD No, but really, I’m not much of a friends-list-on-my-game-client person. I love all my Steam friends, but when I launch a game, I need to be immersed in it (easily side-tracked), so I’ve turned off social features on my Steam client. Chances are, I’ll do the same with GoG, or just not add anyone to my friends list there.

Yep. Anti-social. 🙂

I really like the idea of being able to backup game installers and roll back games if they’re breaking for some odd reason. I also like the offline play feature, and am interested in how the Cross Play with Steam will work.

The Tale of Two Clients: A Little Torn

Game Tracking on the Game Page
Game Tracking on the Game Page

This is something I’ve heard folks talking about. The fact that they’re hesitant to install another game client when they’ve got so many games already on Steam. They want everything in one place. I feel the same way… I have way too many games on Steam already. I tend to try to forget that I have almost just as many squirreled away on GoG.

I do. I’m bad.

However, I like GoG because they bring a lot of old games up to date, making them relevant to play on newer operating systems. When I originally created an account, it was to pick up these older single player games, many that I missed over the years. And I’ve missed a whole lot. So, I check in on the sales and end up picking up a number of classic titles, which I really need to play one day.

Therefore, I try to separate GoG and Steam by picking up the newer games on Steam and focusing on an older-game library on GoG. This comforts me a bit, even though I’m still drowning in games to play. (I say that like it’s a bad thing…)

Anyhow. Do I foresee myself using this new client? Yes, very likely. It’s easier to just launch the client and install games through it. It’s easier to view my library and see sales. It also keeps me more aware of all the great old games I haven’t touched yet, reminding me that I need to put some time into these one day.

Overall, if you are a GoG collector like I am, the client is for you. If you’re an exclusive Steam gamer or MMOer… or just never picked anything up from GoG… well, I won’t tell you not to (there’s a great library of classics!), but this may not be relevant to you.