After waiting what feels like an eternity, I finally received an invite to the closed beta for the new “launcher to replace all launchers” on PC, from gog.com and industry darlings, CD Projekt Red.
During the wait, I’ve been messing around with Playnite on the regular; it has now become the only launcher to open by default when my PC starts. Praise indeed, so can GOG Galaxy 2.0 replace it?
I quickly got up and running with Galaxy 2.0, the installer is reasonably sized and the process for installation is much like anything else these days, a couple of clicks and an EULA accepted, you’re away. I didn’t even need to sign in, it must have picked that up from the existing gog.com launcher I already have installed. I have since been signed out for no apparent reason a few times however.
Within a few minutes, I was also signed in to all of the services supported which I’m personally using, through the official and community integrations. This includes Xbox, PlayStation Network, Uplay, Origin, Epic, and of course, Steam. There’s nothing available for Nintendo, which is rubbing some people up the wrong way, but I don’t have any of their consoles.
Galaxy 2.0 quickly gets to work importing from services where integrations are available. Support for various features depends on the integration and what is available from the platform, you’re informed of what will be supported when you enable the integration. This potentially includes game time, achievement progress, friends lists.
One thing which impressed me immediately was the combining of recorded playtime across platforms; where I’ve played Fallout 4 on Steam and Xbox, it gives me a combined playtime of just under 500 hours, split between just under 40 on Xbox and the rest on Steam. I can also clearly see how few achievements I’ve got for the game on Steam vs Xbox, because I very quickly started using mods on Steam (which disables achievements), but never bothered on Xbox.
The playtime appears to be historic too, by week and so on, although I’m not sure how on Earth it is doing that! How accurate it is, whether it is more accurate once the integration is activated (and your activity is then being monitored in real time, I assume), well I can’t be sure yet. So far, I’ve not been convinced, it seems to think I’ve played something when I haven’t for example. I’m hoping it will be more accurate for the full launch, as this is the feature I care about the most.
Either way, this is the information I want, across all of my launchers. What games do I own, are they installed, how much time have I spent playing, how am I doing on achievements, what are my friends doing? I don’t care where the games or my friends are really, I just care about the games. Playnite does a good job, but lacks the shine Galaxy 2.0 already has.
So far then, so good. The application is responsive, simple to use and shows real promise. It could very easily be the one-stop launcher for all my PC games, when I’m sat at my PC of course. Most of the games I play on PC are now over Steam Link, with a controller. If Galaxy 2.0 could somehow take care of that…
I’m spread across PC on several launchers, Xbox and PlayStation these days. Galaxy 2.0 is quickly becoming the most interesting application on my PC, competing with Playnite for my affections. Galaxy 2.0 is winning already, simply because Playnite is quite ugly, although they’re improving the theme support, releasing a major new version recently.
Meanwhile, despite this being a closed beta, it shows real promise. I hope they keep going, because if new launchers are going to keep springing up (I’m looking at you, Rockstar) I need something to bring them all together. I love the way it brings consoles along for the ride too. There’s a wealth of opportunities for making use of my data, I’d love to see an iOS and Android app too. Ahhh, video games.