Recently, the OnLive service (cloud gaming service, see more details in the OnLive
topic - the revolution has crept unnoticed
) announced the cancellation of subscription fees. Things, they say, are going so well that we can afford not to take $ 5 a month from users (there were 15 right after the start).
Well, the success of any good business (if it is certainly a success, and not a convulsive attempt to attract more subscribers) is always a good thing. But in this case, it is also a reason to try to try OnLive "to the tooth." Despite the fact that the service was launched almost four months ago, there are not very many user reviews and they are, for the most part, enthusiastic (see, for example, Thoughts on OnLive
). Such unanimity raises certain doubts, doesn’t it?
Below - impressions from one incomplete evening of using OnLive (plus screenshots). Answering the unspoken question “Why is this necessary, if everyone interested can see with their own eyes?” - the service is currently available only in the United States.
Start using OnLive is a matter of minutes. In the literal sense: I registered (2 minutes), installed the client (a couple more minutes), started the game (two clicks). Even against the background of a convenient Steam, in which the installation of the game and the libraries and drivers it needs is done automatically, it looks fantastic.
The OnLive client started at 720p resolution, user settings are minimal. Data center can not be selected. Of the graphics - only the brightness.
The first disappointment is the list of games. It is rather short and, for my taste, monotonous - a few shooters, a couple of puzzles, sports games. Mass Effect and Crysis - hits that lured into OnLive a few months ago - are not listed. It's quite strange - first show videos, in which Crysis with the help of OnLive play on sewing machines, and then not have it in the catalog. Bad mark: the relationship of service with publishers and with reality that is different from promotional videos does not seem to be so rosy.
I choose what to play. From all that is available (the full list
), I would buy (and buy at one time) only Mafia 2.
For each game there is a thirty-minute "demo". For the Mafia, which is discussed below - this is not a demo version, but simply the opportunity to play the full version of the game for half an hour. On the one hand, this is not bad, as you see the game in the final version, free from the problems of demo versions. On the other hand, the meaning of the demo version, as well as the movie trailer, is to entice with interesting moments, to tease. Films are usually not advertised for the first five minutes. So the decision is controversial, but we go further.
The game is "loaded" on the sensations of seconds thirty. At this time, video shows the cutting of gaming moments about YouTube-quality (i.e., very modest). The screensaver, the main menu (without the ability to change the graphic settings), let's go!
- additional lags from the network are not subjectively felt. The character reacts to the mouse / keyboard quickly;
- connection is moderately stable. Three times the Connection problem popped up, but it didn't affect the game at all. But a couple of times without any warnings, the picture went in "squares" as in a "bit" video - typical artifacts of data loss in a video stream;
- The picture is noticeably “poorer” in details and textures. And no AA. Plus, when expanding to the full screen, we feel all the delights of upscale 720p in 1080p - uneven fonts, etc.
Can I play with OnLive? Can. Is it worth doing? Not.
There are only two advantages to the service:
- the opportunity to play on the "wretched office laptop";
- availability of demo for all games, even for those for which the usual demo version was not released;
- poor range of games;
- prices - as for the full version. For some titles, there is a three- and five-day PlayPass, but for most, the only payment option is 100% retail;
- there is no possibility to download the game to your computer (useful if the user still decides to replace the “poor office” with a normal computer);
- severely affected graphics. A possible reason for the recall of Crysis from OnLive is that in OnLive-quality this game no longer looks like the flagship of computer graphics. The same Mafia 2 looks like hello from the beginning of the 2000s;
- It is not clear how DLC works, achivable and other joys of a casual person. I'm not talking about fashion (these - certainly nothing).
Finally, a few thoughts out loud.
OnLive in its present form is a service with an audience I do not understand. It is as useful as a “consumer loan” for an iron. That is, if you need a loan for an iron, then you do not need an iron. The same applies to modern games with fancy graphics. If the PC "does not pull", then there are two alternatives: a) consoles, the benefit of almost all now multiplatform, b) old games. They will look no worse than the OnLive video, the price is significantly less.
As my wife aptly noticed, this is like a website for selling screen films for the price of BluRay discs.
PS A few more screenshots from Mafia 2 performed by OnLive:Whole photo album