Posted on February 26, 2013 4:30 PM by Rob Williams
To help finish off what was an exhausting day, I decided to get some gaming in before bed last night. In particular, because BioShock: Infinite comes out in a month, I thought it’d be a great time to dive into the originals. Yeah… despite having sunk numerous hours into benchmarking these titles at the time of their release, I never actually played them, and given the issues I experienced last night, that still stands.
Upon loading BioShock up for the first time, it crashed. I received the kind of error we all despise:
Being a game I own through Steam, I did the first thing most people would: validate the game. That came up clean, so I tried to run the game again. Crash. Over the course of the next couple of minutes, I experienced 5 more. I then waltzed on over to the Steam community forums for the game, and it became clear that I wasn’t alone. The game is just problematic. But here’s what makes things worse: out of the 10 different “fixes” I found, their success rate was hit-or-miss with most people. For me, none of them worked.
After an hour of fiddling about, I took heed to a recommendation and disabled all sound devices on the PC. Then, the game loaded up without issue. I re-enabled the audio output, crash. Disabled it again, and the game loaded-up fine.
During the next half-an-hour, I discovered that the problem (for me) had to do with OpenAL, a sound architecture that certain games use. Uninstalling OpenAL allowed me to load the game with sound devices enabled. I heard sound just fine – until I reached the actual game. It turns out that OpenAL is used only for in-game audio, not the main menu or cutscenes.
Realizing a little bit too late that I lost the fight (90 minutes!), I decided to load up another game that I’ve been putting off playing for far too long: Burnout Paradise. And well…
This game managed to lag the entire PC so bad upon its crashing, that I couldn’t even screenshot the error (hence the photo). After this, I decided to just go play some Shadow Warrior. I mean, the game’s old as dirt, so it has to work, right?