One of the big questions for people interested in moving over to Vista is “Will my games work under Vista?”. I have tried out 10 of my games and had quite a successful adventure into Vista Gaming. I was able to get all the games below up and running, but it wasn’t without its difficulties.
To be fair to Vista, most of the problems I came across were related to video card drivers which have nothing to do with Vista itself. I started off this experiment using the drivers that came with my video card. I soon found that an update was required and this allowed most games to work without any other tweaking.
This article will look at a broad range of games which have been popular over the last 8 years. I will also explain my successes and difficulties installing each of these. All games are legitimate copies and cross many genres.
I don’t claim to be a big gamer, though the games that I have, I like to run smoothly. I have not bothered running benchmarks on these games. All that matters to me is if the game loads up alright and then runs at a speed which makes the game usable. If the game crashes with all updates, I treat that as a failure.
Inspect My Gadgets Test System:
I recently bought a new computer to run Vista. I didn’t want to spend the big money so I got hardware which I thought would be adequate. It turns out that it is more than enough to run Vista comfortably.
Intel Core2 Duo Processor: 6600 @ 2.40GHz
Nvidia Geforce 7600GT 256MB Video Card
I have updated all the drivers to the most recent I could find as of 01/06/07
The games and how they installed and played:
Deus EX: We are going back a few years with this one. Installation was very clean and there was not one problem with getting this running. Once in the game, it ran smoothly and made use of the hardware that I had in the Vista computer.
I ran through the training mission and Deus Ex worked flawlessly.
MDK2: Another game which takes us back to the start of this decade is MDK2. Installation was quick and easy and Vista did not complain about anything. I played through the early stages of this game and there was no lock ups. Yet again, another flawless installation.
I went to the Codemasters website and downloaded and installed Update Patch 1. This did not solve the problem.
I then proceeded to install the 64bit patch also available at the codemaster website. This allowed the game to launch and run smoothly on my computer. Once I was in the game, I came across no problems.
Medal of Honor, Pacific Assault: The install went flawlessly. The game loaded with the first attempt and I started the first mission. I had a lock up at the same spot, very early on in the game. I retried this 3 times and each time it locked up at a similar spot.
I installed the patch from the EA website and tried running the game again. The lockup happened, this time earlier than before. It was at this stage I tried to update my Video Card drivers. This solved the issue and the game ran well. I love the Drill Instructors speech at the start. It was good to hear it again.
This was a really nice game to see running under my new Video card. The image quality was much better than I had in XP using a 6600 GT.
Medal of Honor Warchest, Allied Assault: The install and gameplay were both flawless. There is nothing else to say. This may be due to having the latest video drivers installed. It is quite an old game now, so I expected success with this. With this success, I expected the expansions below to work smoothly also.
Spearhead Expansion Pack: This Installed painlessly. I had a couple of problems with video settings of Spearhead. The graphic defaults had set themselves to be ridiculously low. After adjusting these in the game, everything was fine. Being an old game, I installed the update patches which went on without fault. I worked my way through this whole game and there were no problems. With the new video card, it was like I was playing a new game.
Breakthrough Expansion Pack: This was the trickiest of all the installs I am covering in this article. My computer was reporting that I needed a Video Card that could handle certain textures. I already had the latest drivers on by this stage. I had to download nhancer which allows you to change some video settings for particular games, working closely with the Nvidia drivers. Once this was installed, I did not need to make any changes to the games profile, as it loaded the best settings. The game then ran really well in single player.
This was the only game I tested under multi-player and I did not have a great deal of luck with this. The game loaded and I could see the buildings fine, but it appeared as if the other players in the game were sharking (dropping under map) and this made it very hard to play. It was still possible to get a few kills but frequently I would find someone popping up directly in front of me, out of nowhere. I am sure this will be fixed with future Video Driver updates but currently, I will have to play this in XP. Many players have had success with his game in Vista.
Need for Speed Carbon: This is one of the more recent games I have tested for this article. The install went well and the game loaded without any problems. I was able to play single races fine but in career mode, when I was in a police chase, the game would lock up. This happened to me twice out of around 4 chases. I assume this is a video problem also and in the future, this game will work fine on my machine. Many other people have reported complete success with this game.
Call of Duty 2:When I tried to install this, Vista reported that there were known compatibility issues. The installer allowed me to continue and the install went through without problems. I was able to play through a few levels of this game and it ran great. I think the new video drivers may have made the previous issues non existent. This was a great game to play utilising the new hardware in my system.
FIFA 2005: The install for this ran very well and there were no warnings or errors throughout. The game loaded fine and I was able to play a couple of matches. FIFA 2005 ran very well and I came across no problems.
Spellforce II – Shadow Wars: This game came with my Video Card. It is the most recent game I have. I had trouble installing it initially but yet again it turns out the Video drivers were initially at fault. It is odd though that a video card company will give you a game with their card to show the cards capabilities, and then give you drivers that aren’t up to date enough to run the game. This game ran flawlessly also. I didn’t get out of starting town because I got bored but everything in the town was fine. This game didn’t impress me much, and I don’t know why it was included as the example to see what you can get out of your video card, as the graphics were not spectacular.
All Seeing Eye: This program is used to connect to multi-player games, allowing you to see which players are on what servers in the games you predefine. This software downloaded and installed well. I was able to test it with Medal of Honor Breakthrough and I came across no problems.
I had a really high success rate from installing and playing all of these games in Vista. The only dramas I had in the end were playing multi-player “Breakthrough” and “Need for Speed Carbon” locking up occasionally. The nice thing about Vista is that when it locks up, you don’t need to restart your computer, it will kick you back to the desktop. This is obviously a good thing.
The most common solution for getting any games running in Vista, is to install the latest video card drivers, generally available from Nvidia or ATI websites depending on your cards chipset, otherwise your computer manufacturer. These companies have not yet had enough time to enable all games to work flawlessly. They have come a long way since the very early days of Vista and they both release new driver updates regularly.
If you are not comfortable with computers and like to get straight into your games, you may come across some problems that you won’t be able to fix. The majority of games will work straight up, others you may need to search the web for solutions or ring up someone who knows about computers (family friend, not complicated enough for a computer tech) and they should be able to help you get up and running in whichever game you choose.
You can be confident that in 6 months, all new games will run under Vista and they will be spectacular at that.
If you enjoyed this article, please check out some of my other articles at Inspect My Gadget.