With the absolute mess that game storefronts and launchers are in right now, I was inordinately excited to see an invite to the GOG Galaxy 2.0 closed beta finally plop into my inbox. A new gaming client isn’t exactly at the top of my wishlist, you see, but GOG Galaxy 2’s relatively unique promise is a simple one - unify all of your gaming clients, libraries, and friends lists into a single spot.
The first thing to get out of the way is yep, it absolutely does work. Within about five minutes of installing GOG Galaxy 2.0, I’d managed to link it up every possible type of account. GOG Galaxy now pulls in all of the games I own across GOG.com, Battle.net, Epic, Origin, Uplay, Steam, Xbox, and even PlayStation.
If you want to pull in custom platforms then this is theoretically possible. That stack of NES ROMs you’ve got lurking, or whatever it may be. GOG has created an integrations API for this purpose that’s available on GitHub, although community members will be free to make their own integration systems with box art etc and share them.
For now, though, I’ve kept it strictly to the games I own across the eight core integrations. GOG Galaxy tells me I've got 774 games in total, and then I'm free to filter them by platform, OS, and genre. It's quick, it's intuitive and, barring a few missing artworks, it works.
Some of these, like PlayStation and a few Xbox titles, don’t even run on PC. I’m already finding it a handy, unified way to remind myself of what PS4 games I may own though, for example. Ultimately I do need to turn my PS4 on to even install these games, but as far as automatic integration goes it’s decent. Interestingly, the API even manages to pull in trophy data and the like, so I can look at my Bloodborne trophy progress from within GOG Galaxy 2.0. What a world.
As far as GOG Galaxy 2.0 goes at this stage, it’s functional rather than spectacular. It does do exactly what GOG promised though - unify your gaming library. It’s all there, right in one place with the minimum of effort.
While not available right now in the current version of the beta, an upcoming feature will allow users to toggle a setting which automatically shut down a gaming client when the game is closed.
Booting up games will also begin running the appropriate launcher in the background. You can also set the likes of Steam and Uplay to automatically shut down once a game has closed. Out of sight, out of mind and all that.
Considering we're still in the beta phase though, I have to say I'm impressed with what I see of GOG Galaxy 2.0 so far. There doesn't seem to be the option to invite Steam friends just yet, although I'm assuming that's going to be implemented at some point. Aside from that though it's quick and functional, although relatively heavyweight (~400MB typical RAM usage). It's very neat to see all of my Epic Store games I've grabbed for free, for example, without having to actually bother opening the Epic Games client.
It's easy to see how this could eventually become someone's natural home for PC gaming. The benefit to GOG.com, of course, is that the only games you can actually buy directly through the client are from GOG's own store. For many people, Steam is their de facto home, but GOG Galaxy 2.0 certainly does a better job than anything else of making leaving easier.