Windows 7 Games Compatibility N-Z
We tested a lot of games under Windows 7 and it's an unfortunate fact that, because of the sheer quantity of titles we were using, we were unable to give every title a proper workout. Instead, when we claim that a game 'works fine', we mean that we were able to run the game as we would expect it to run and successfully played through either the first level or the first ten minutes of the game, depending on how much we liked it.
For Deus Ex
for example, we know that you can definitely get as far as your first meeting with Anna Navarre – but that's not to say that errors might not appear later in the game, though that's very unlikely.
How we selected the games we tested was fairly easy though. We simply grabbed most of Joe's favourite PC games, every single game we could find in the bit-tech
labs (excluding MMOs, which are always updating to fit compatibility), plus a handful of retro titles. We tried to grab at least one game to represent the most popular engines, from Half-Life
's GoldSRC to Monkey Island
's SCUMM engine, so that you can fairly accurately judge how other games with that engine will work under Windows 7.
That said, we'd be anxious to expand this list a little bit more – so if you find a game which does or doesn't work on Windows 7, but which did on earlier versions of Windows, then let us know in the forums
and let others benefit from your knowledge.
Here, we stumble across some of the more technically interesting problems; namely that Quake Wars
would not run in Windows 7 because of an apparent OpenGL problem which caused the game to crash on start-up. The exact error reads "The OpenGL Driver Doesn't Support WGL. Choose Pixel Format ARB
” - an error that seems to have been created because of a problem with graphics drivers and the OpenGL installation. It also bears similarities to an error we got with Jedi Knight 2: Outcast
, which you can read on the next page
In the end, we couldn't find a solution to this problem on Windows 7 even though a quick scan across the Quake Wars
community reveals this isn't an isolated incident. Some players proposed some fixes by editing the Windows registry, but it wasn't clear if that would also help Windows 7. It's possible that, as new drivers roll out which directly support Windows 7, the problem may soon get corrected.
Other problems we ran across were less interesting. Requiem: Avenging Angel
is a pretty obscure, old game which never had much after-market support and which relies on the now-ancient DirectX 6.1, with an DirectX version checker built into the game. Upon checking the version of DirectX being used and finding that it is not DirectX 6.1, the game refuses to run – even in Windows 95 or Windows 98 compatibility mode.
DirectX issues also prevent the early Thief
games from being installed in any compatibility mode, with an error message appearing that reveals the game believes it is being installed on the incompatible "Windows NT" operating system. A later error indicates a problem with a “DirectX limitation
” that then aborts the game. It's a good thing The Dark Mod for the Doom 3 engine
was just released then.
The Secret of Monkey Island
is another game which refused to run, though the problems it generates are entirely expected if we're going to be honest. Built on the SCUMM engine, most of the classic LucasArts adventure games stopped working around the time of Windows XP, even on 32-bit systems. Thankfully, the current version of ScummVM
does work fine on Windows 7 – so you can get your three-headed monkey on through that, for free.
Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory
also threw up problems, in this case it's down to the ever-annoying Starforce DRM, which prevents the game being installed on OS's above XP - including Vista. There's some discussion about various fixes
for the game using the latest Starforce drivers, but many users claim that the game is still mostly unplayable and unstable even with these, thus we've filed it under incompatible for now.