Going Rogue with in-game web browsing

PC gamers have longed for a way to be able to surf the web while playing their current favorite game. It might seem a bit gratuitous, but the idea of being able to quickly search for a hint to a puzzle you’re stuck on without alt-tabbing out of the game, is a godsend. Call me a cynic or skeptic, whatever you want, because when I heard that some new company, GotGame, released an in-game web browser called Rogue, I thought it too good to be true.

I wanted to make sure that I spent some time with Rogue before I wrote about it, being the skeptic that I am and all. At first it seemed glorious. The thought of being able to surf pr0nz… er… I mean… look up quest info while playing WoW and not leaving the game was wonderful. That glint in my eye soon faded. It worked, for all of about 2 minutes or so, and when it did work I noticed a few things. The performance hit was ridiculously high when running the browser. I was getting roughly 40fps normally and when I opened Rogue up, the frame rate dipped down to 10fps. Now, to most this won’t be an issue, because you won’t be playing and browsing at the same time. But here in lies the problem. Once you have the browser running, and you “hide” it, the performance hit persists. You either have to minimize it (which causes you to have to leave the game to maximize it again) or close it altogether, which in essence defeats the whole purpose. Another issue I discovered is that when you “hide” it, expect to never to find it again. It seems as though you can only use the browser once before you “hide” it, and once you do, it disappears into the abyss never to return.

I will admit, all hope is not lost here. GotGame has started something I’ve been waiting a long time for. Yes, it doesn’t work well, and sometimes doesn’t work at all. But, the base for what will hopefully be a great product is there. I’m just thrilled that it’s not vaporware, and that it’s an actual product that will eventually get its bugs worked out. Having to alt-tab or play a game in windowed mode just plain sucks and I’m glad someone is working on something to fix that. Despite all its issues, Rogue is something I intend to keep an eye on, and hopefully use a lot of in the future. Now, if only someone could get to work on an in-game instant messenger client…