Making old games work on new PCs: Chrome and Chrome: Specforce

Sometimes, publishers don't bother updating old games before putting them up on your favourite digital-distribution system. Here's how to make them play more nicely with your new machine.

The usual caveat, folks: make sure your graphics and sound-card drivers are up to date, and that you've installed the latest compatibility updates for Windows. These fixes have been tested on Windows 7 64-bit only, but they may also work for other systems.

(Credit: Techland)

Man, this is a hard one. Chrome and its sequel weren't particularly popular. It did establish some trends, though, that the likes of Far Cry and Crysis picked up later, like dense jungles and implants that modified your combat ability. There are even vehicles in there, which is impressive, considering the game's age.

There is a widescreen mod for the first game, should you choose to download it, which comes with a fancy configuration tool. It does, however, change the UI quite a bit, dumps in some new loading screens, grafts bits of SpecForce over the top and seemingly isn't totally 16:9 compatible.

If you want just a straight Chrome experience that gives a higher resolution, fixed fonts and higher-res versions of the UI, I've created an installer with a custom configuration tool below (maps courtesy of the widescreen mod above):

Chrome HD fix.

I've played all the way through at 1920×1080, and there shouldn't be issues at other resolutions, but let me know if you come across anything that looks out of sorts. Here's the update for Specforce:

Chrome Specforce HD fix.

Note that you can't undo these installs; you'll need to back-up your HUD, HUDNet, Menu and UIDef folders (along with the Textures folder for Chrome) before applying the patch, then recover them if you wish to undo the changes. Alternatively, if you own the game through Steam, you can reacquire the older files by right-clicking on the game, selecting Properties, heading to the Local Files tab and clicking Verify integrity of game cache.

Anti-aliasing

The games don't support AA by default, so you'll have to set up an override in your graphics card control panel. For Chrome, make sure to apply the overrides to chromesingle.exe and chromenet.exe — if you set them to chrome.exe, things won't work, and there's a chance it will get confused with Google's browser if you have it installed. Chrome Specforce is a lot easier: apply your overrides to SpecForce.exe.

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Gaming
About the author

Craig was sucked into the endless vortex of tech at an early age, only to be spat back out babbling things like "phase-locked-loop crystal oscillators!". Mostly this receives a pat on the head from the listener, followed closely by a question about what laptop they should buy.

 

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