GOG Galaxy 2.0 hands-on: The only game launcher you need? Not yet, but maybe someday

Whilst Valve and Epic fight over storefront supremacy, there’s every other fight quietly looming. As lawsuits mount in opposition to the proliferation of storefronts, there’s an opportunity for anyone to make the ur-storefront. I’m speaking in fact in regards to the launcher that can unify all of the different launchers, the only launcher to rule all of them and—within the darkness of your onerous pressure—bind them.

And GOG’s taken an early shot at it. Development off its Galaxy launcher, which was once as soon as a trifling repository and auto-updater on your GOG library, it’s now begun rolling out “Galaxy 2.zero” to a make a choice few, together with us. I’ve spent the remaining week or so checking out its functions to look if I’m able to condense my launcher loadout.

The decision? It’s early days but, and there are kinks GOG must figure out—some area of interest, some broader—however Galaxy 2.zero makes an enchanting and engaging bid.

Putting in place

Getting began is more uncomplicated than I anticipated, as neatly. GOG’s no longer the one launcher to permit video games from different products and services, however in most cases the implementation is unwieldy. Steam’s “Upload a Non-Steam Sport” serve as, for example, scans each and every unmarried program for your onerous pressure and does little apart from make a Steam-specific shortcut inside of your recreation library. Helpful, sometimes, however no longer a really perfect long-term resolution.

GOG Galaxy 2.0 IDG / Hayden Dingman

Galaxy 2.zero is a extra automatic procedure. To begin with you’ll best see your GOG library, assuming you’ve gotten one. It really works the similar as the unique Galaxy launcher in that regard.

However you’re precipitated to “Upload Video games and Buddies” as neatly. A few of these attainable third-party connections are reputable, created and supported by way of GOG, despite the fact that nowadays that record best contains Xbox Reside, or even that doesn’t in truth mean you can get entry to your Xbox Play Anyplace video games but.

The majority of Galaxy 2.zero’s connections were constructed by way of the group the usage of GOG’s SDK to put in force the best hooks, and already there’s a thriving plugin aftermarket, offered inside of Galaxy 2.zero as “Neighborhood Integrations – In style.” Steam, Fight.internet, Epic Video games Retailer, Uplay, Starting place, and extra will also be added via those pseudo-official channels. It’s the whole lot you’d need, or no less than the whole lot you’re “compelled” to make use of when you’ll be able to’t use Steam. Sure, I see you.

GOG Galaxy 2.0 IDG / Hayden Dingman

Login takes seconds, every supplier asking on your credentials personally. As soon as Galaxy 2.zero is permitted you’ll see a be aware on the backside that claims your library is “Uploading,” despite the fact that even with a Steam library within the hundreds this took a minute or two at maximum. And then you definately’re finished, loose to peruse any and all your video games via GOG, to type them alphabetically in a single lengthy record or break up them up by way of storefront, and simply release the only you wish to have.

Wealthy information

They’re greater than mere shortcuts. That’s what impresses me maximum about Galaxy 2.zero up to now. Video games you’ve bought from different products and services aren’t handled like second-class voters, because the aforementioned “Non-Steam Video games” are.

GOG Galaxy 2.0 IDG / Hayden Dingman

No, Galaxy 2.zero pulls to your historical past with those video games—Steam’s “Hours Performed” metric, success information, and so forth. It’s a wealthy useful resource in that regard, retaining vital data even supposing you choose to make use of Galaxy 2.zero as your number one launcher.

It additionally shines a gentle on a few of Steam’s shortcomings, in my view. Steam comes in handy. Steam has a large number of nice capability. Steam may be relatively dated, and may just use a full-scale redesign. One’s seemingly within the works, positive, however that’s been the case for years now, without a indication when it’ll free up.

Alongside comes Galaxy 2.zero, which does stuff with my Steam library that turns out glaring on reflection, however genius within the second. As an example, permitting me to type by way of success share—in fact!—and by way of time performed. Valve’s monitoring those metrics, however even supposing you utilize the extra detailed (and not more purposeful) record view in Steam you’ll be able to’t type by way of those. It’s nifty.

GOG Galaxy 2.0 IDG / Hayden Dingman

And I’m speedy changing into partial to Galaxy 2.zero’s superstar rankings as neatly. They each serve in an effort to briefly to find my favourite video games and mark which of them I’ve completed. Very best of all, they face up to transferring from PC to PC. I’ve put in Galaxy 2.zero on two other computer systems, long gone in the course of the setup on every, and will ascertain superstar rankings for the Epic Video games Retailer persevered throughout each. If truth be told, your whole cumulative, launcher-spanning library is perpetually hooked up on your GOG account, even supposing you need to reauthorize your third-party credentials on next PCs.

Early days

That mentioned, there’s extra to be finished. With GOG most commonly depending at the group to expand its Integrations up to now, fortify for any and all options is usually a bit spotty. As an example, my Steam library show time performed however (no less than once I examined) all success information is indexed at 0 %.

You’ll be able to additionally upload tags inside of GOG, but it surely gained’t pull tags without delay from Steam—a ache for me, given my meticulously cataloged and looked after Steam library. That on my own has made me much less more likely to transfer over, as I don’t wish to reproduction greater than a decade’s value of tedious submitting paintings multi function pass.

GOG Galaxy 2.0 IDG / Hayden Dingman

There’s additionally a minor inflammation, in that Galaxy 2.zero can name up different launchers as wanted( you continue to want Uplay working to play Uplay video games, for example) but it surely gained’t shut them after it’s finished but. This option’s indexed within the settings menu with a “Coming quickly” tooltip, and for glaring causes. Galaxy 2.zero needs to be a continuing surroundings, and having to near out different launchers manually breaks that phantasm.

However worst of all, for me no less than—and I admit this may well be area of interest—is that Galaxy 2.zero doesn’t fortify Steam’s Circle of relatives Sharing function but, nor are you able to upload multiple account from the similar provider. It gained’t record Circle of relatives Proportion video games even supposing they’re put in, which is doubly irritating. As I mentioned it’s perhaps a distinct segment case, however I make intensive use of Steam’s Circle of relatives Sharing options and this on my own is combating it from being my go-to, for the reason that my video games are very a lot no longer multi function position.

Base line

For its section, GOG reiterates that it is a closed beta, little greater than a proof-of-concept that’s evolving by way of the day, and that’s true. Since I began checking out, there’s already been an up to date free up with some malicious program fixes and different minor enhancements. I’m sympathetic, and am keen to forget its flaws for essentially the most section and concentrate on the larger image.

And larger image? I feel it’s a neat concept. I don’t essentially know if GOG’s going to be the only to come back out on best on this upcoming fight, however Galaxy 2.zero is one imaginable way to a rising downside and I’ll be curious whether or not others try to observe swimsuit—or whether or not we stay juggling an ever-increasing choice of launchers on our personal and check out to make do. Both turns out imaginable.

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