What is GOG?

GOG featured image

GOG.com is a storefront for digital PC games, with an emphasis on old classic titles as well as DRM-free downloads. Owned by CD Projekt (which owns GOG’s sister company CD Projekt RED, responsible for The Witcher games), GOG excels in providing easy access to classics from as far back as the DOS era and making them playable on modern computers.

Today, the platform has grown to hold over 2,600+ games (without DLC) as of the time of writing. You can find classic titles such as Blade Runner or Planescape: Torment, odd AAA titles of yesteryear from EA and 2K, and indie hits such as Undertale or Stardew Valley.

GOG home page

Cool! What’s in GOG for me?

GOG’s main selling point is its DRM-free stance. You can play GOG games without needing to install any clients. They are also perfectly installable and playable offline thanks to their neat installers – provided you have downloaded them first. This avoids situations like the one with TRON Evolution, and makes family sharing easy and painless! GOG’s other selling point is their non-stop work to secure selling rights for old games, as well as enabling them to run on modern systems with enhancements such as higher resolutions or bugfixes!

Curation is also a strength (and admittedly, weakness) of GOG. It’s easy to find good games that are worth your time on the store. Despite this, some games do not make it to the store, and their criteria for what they accept remain unclear.

Screenshot of a GOG installer
The installer for Pikuniku. By accessing the options, you can choose where to install the game (future installs will remember it) and whether you want a shortcut on your desktop.

Does GOG have a game client like Steam does?

Yes, GOG Galaxy, and you get the choice to use it – or not. Library management, automatic updates, cloud saving, achievements, time tracking, in-game overlay with screenshot and FPS counter support among others are Galaxy’s main features. You can also use Galaxy without an account, though in a limited capacity.

Galaxy is also GOG’s multiplayer provider for some games, sometimes even allowing you to play online with Steam players through the Crossplay functionality (as seen in STAR WARS Battlefront II Classic). With the Galaxy 2.0 update, now in open beta, it will even manage your game libraries from other stores and launchers!

Screenshot of GOG Galaxy's library view.
GOG Galaxy, showing the main library of games on the main part of the window, with installed games listed on the left pane.

Any other features?

GOG comes with a set of social features, including friends, chat and profiles. Adding friends allows you to quickly chat with them or invite them to multiplayer games supported by Galaxy. User profiles allow you to see the games they played, achievements gained or status posts. You can even change your profile’s background to one from a game you bought.

GOG also hosts seasonal sales, with deep discounts and at least one giveaway. Sometimes they add games to their time limited GOG Connect program, which allows you to get a free copy of a GOG game if you already own it on your Steam account!

Screenshot of my profile.

In Conclusion

GOG.com is a curated storefront with an emphasis on getting old titles to work on new PCs and with the grace of DRM-free, meaning you don’t have to rely on a client to get a game running, but you are welcome to use their optional Galaxy client.

Some of the games we reviewed are available on GOG! Read what we think of Slipstream, Kingsway or Wanderlust!

Did you like this article? Consider supporting Indie Hive through Patreon! Patrons receive an early access article on Mondays!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *