Archive for December, 2013

Gamers no longer need dual-boot

Posted in Gaming on December 1st, 2013 by abolte – Be the first to comment

Tonight I completed Outlast, a first person survival horror (read my review here) under Wine on GNU/Linux, and have updated my Finished Games list to reflect this. Looking through that list, one thing has became clear; no matter if you’re a fan of indie games or AAA blockbuster titles, GNU/Linux now has it all on offer!

In 2011, I completed 20 games under Windows 7. That same year, I completed just 11 games under GNU/Linux, just one of which was played under Wine.

For comparison, this year (so far) I have completed 0 games under Windows (any version), and 26 games under GNU/Linux – 13 of which were played under Wine! One of those games played under Wine (Cargo, a free software release) also has a GNU/Linux version but is not quite stable yet (or wasn’t at the time I played it). Another game I completed under Wine – Doom 3 BFG – has also been released mostly as free software and has native ports to GNU/Linux (such as RBDOOM-3-BFG) but I ended up playing the official release via Wine due to Steam achievement support. It should be possible to play both of these titles natively under GNU/Linux also, to bring the native game count up to 15.

I purchased a new laptop (good enough for some gaming) earlier this year, and did away with Windows completely at that time. At first I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to play many titles that interest me, but I am happy to report that I simply haven’t missed Windows as I thought I would. There is an abundance of native GNU/Linux games now – and it’s the first year that we’ve been able to claim to have AAA blockbuster titles such as Metro: Last Light! Playing Metro natively is simply amazing.

For blockbuster titles that still don’t have GNU/Linux ports, Wine has been making amazing progress in terms of performance and compatibility (as the figures from my Finished Games list clearly demonstrate). Many big releases (eg. Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, Dead Island Riptide and StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm) are handled with ease upon release (Blood Dragon initially requiring a crack, but that no longer seems to be the case). The main thing still missing is DirectX 11 support (which means Bioshock Infinite doesn’t work), but performance is improving and with command stream patches to be merged mainline in the near future this will only get better.

My faith in Wine compatibility (with any title that advertises Windows XP and Steam support) is strong enough that I felt comfortable pre-ordering Dead Island Riptide, and as expected the game installed fine and ran just fine.

So if you’re a GNU/Linux user and a gamer in 2013 and you’re still dual-booting with Windows just for games, I must ask – why?