Last night I picked up Burnout Paradise on the way home from work, making it in and out of Woolworths just before the shutters fell at six o’clock. I don’t often get games on the day of release any more, so my inner child was struggling to contain his excitement as I got home. With Elisha falling asleep in the car on the way (as she often does), it was simply a matter of placing her on a pillow when I got in before turning my attention to the PS3 and the first proper 5th generation racing game.
I started up, put the disc in the slot and selected it from the menu. It said it needed to download a patch before continuing. This ain’t your daddy’s video gaming era – no sir – looks like in the 5th Generation games are released with bugs in and patched on the day of release. No matter, it wasn’t too big a file and it was on the hard drive in a minute or so.
That done I took my place on the couch in anticipation of the 720p HD graphical showcase that was about to spill into the room. I watched as the loading screen did its thing. Then the little rotating arrow stopped moving. I waited a little more. Then I noticed that the hard drive light wasn’t blinking and I couldn’t hear the Blu-Ray drive doing anything either. I pressed the PlayStation button on the controller to bring up the menu, but it wouldn’t do anything.
The damn thing had crashed!
Console games aren’t supposed to crash… or freeze on loading – not unless you have a dodgy disc. I checked the disc and so far as I could tell it was shiny as a new Blu-Ray is supposed to be. Maybe the patch didn’t download right, I wondered. Re-starting the PS3 I deleted the patch from the game data folder and tried again. However, after re-downloading the patch I got the same result.
By this time Fliss was home and was kneeling on the rug nearby, seemingly relishing my disappointment over the lack of performance from my new game.
“I wish I’d bought it from Asda.” I said mournfully, “Because they’re still open and I could take the dodgy disc back.”
Giving it one final try I decided just to press the cancel button when it prompted me to download the patch. No use waiting for a download when it was probably going to freeze up again anyway.
The game boots up and I spend the next three hours having a blast in all of the promised high definition gaming goodness, complete with upated Burnout 2 music in the soundtrack. That and Avril Lavigne, so you cant win ’em all. When I was done I passed the controller on to Fliss, albeit a little nervous as to whether it would re-boot after she’d restarted and signed in with her account, but it all went well after she too cancelled the patch downloading.
However, the online play requires you to be on the same patch version as everybody else. Which means we’re kind of barred from that until I can work out what’s causing the thing to freeze with the patch downloaded.
It isn’t supposed to be this way, though. It’s the reason I cant be bothered with PC games for the most part. All that patching and configuration is something you shouldn’t need to face as a console gamer.