Showing posts with label Gaming. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gaming. Show all posts

Monday, 22 February 2016

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TOP TEN XBOX360 GAMES (2012-16)

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Channel:https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsChllPquwAY0aFTrX3PYdQ
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These are the top 10 games from 2012 to 2016, they are not personal recommendation or own choice, every game is selected my their rating and every games in this video has high rating. MUST TRY THESE GAMES,IF HAVEN'T.
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Video link:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3qG-YaP6MU

Saturday, 1 November 2014

The best free games on the Xbox One

Xbox One Free-To-Play
The free-to-play business model is a rapidly growing phenomenon in the gaming world. Once quarantined to the PC and mobile, these new pricing structures are proliferating quickly, and altering expectations on even the most rigid of platforms. Consoles were once exclusively home to big-budget full-price games, and now the entire market is being turned on its head. The Xbox One is now home to a number of free-to-play titles, and today I want to give those games their due. Let’s jump in, and explore what the free-to-play model has to offer the Xbox One owner.
Xbox One Killer Instinct

Killer Instinct

ULTRA COMBO! This classic fighting franchise has finally returned to the limelight, and this time it’s a free-to-play release exclusive to the Xbox One. Originally developed by Double Helix, its acquisition by Amazon left the dev team unable to offer continued support. Instead, the folks at Iron Galaxy stepped in, and now season two of Killer Instinct has begun.
Without dropping one red cent, you get to play as a rotating cast of free fighters, and you can slowly unlock more content from playing the game. Alternatively, you can buy in-game currency with real money to speed up the unlocking process, or simply buy an entire “season” worth of content for $40. It’s a pretty solid deal — especially compared to the traditional Capcom-style pricing model that fighting games have been burdened with in the past.
Xbox One Pinball FX2

Pinball FX2

If you like pinball, Zen Studios has a treat for you. With Pinball FX2, you can play dozens of tables featuring some of your favorite franchises. From South Park to Star Wars to The Walking Dead, Pinball FX2 sports an incredible amount of variety, and rewards skilled play with a superb leaderboard system. And if you know other pinball enthusiasts, you can compete asynchronously against each other for the top spot.
When you download the core client, you automatically get access to the Sorcerer’s Lair table for free. If you only have a passing interest in pinball, this table is more than enough to satiate your desires. If you’re a hardcore pinball fanatic, you can choose to buy single tables or combo packs à la carte. For example, The Walking Dead table is $3, and the Avengers Chronicles four-pack is just $10. Now that everything is delivered digitally, collecting pinball tables is actually an incredibly affordable hobby these days.
Xbox One Powerstar Golf   

Powerstar Golf

Up for a few holes of golf? Take a look at Powerstar Golf from Zoë Mode, and you’ll find a stylish golf game with a lot to offer. As you play, you can unlock new clubs and balls to improve your stats, and turn your character into a real pro. This persistent golfing experience tracks how well you’re doing, and easily allows you to challenge your friends to beat your score at any time. If you’ve got a competitive streak and a penchant for golf,Powerstar Golf is exactly what you’re looking for.
For free, you get access to a hole from every course. You can play as much as you like, earn experience points, and unlock new persistent gear. However, you’re going to need to pony up some cash if you want to do much more than dabble with the mechanics. You can buy any of four courses for $6 a pop, or you can invest $20 for the “full game unlock” combo pack. There has been plenty of criticism aimed at the lackluster free-to-play aspects of this game, but if you enjoy the core gameplay, it’s well worth the investment in the paid content.
Xbox One Project Spark

Project Spark

If you’ve ever wanted to build your own video game before, you need to check out Project Spark. This free-to-play title from Microsoft Studios gives you the power to create your own gameplay experiences, and download the bizarre and incredible creations of other people. Much like LittleBigPlanet and Minecraft, this game is all about creating new things, and sharing them with the world.
Without spending money, your options are pretty limited. You can earn in-game currency by playing and creating, but by all accounts that process is very slow. For $40, you can invest in a starter pack that offers a substantial amount of variety, but you’ll probably still run into paywalls here and there. Microsoft sells “Spark tokens” in chunks ranging from $5 to $100, so don’t be surprised when the game leans on you pretty hard for an influx of cash

Powerstar Golf

Up for a few holes of golf? Take a look at Powerstar Golf from Zoë Mode, and you’ll find a stylish golf game with a lot to offer. As you play, you can unlock new clubs and balls to improve your stats, and turn your character into a real pro. This persistent golfing experience tracks how well you’re doing, and easily allows you to challenge your friends to beat your score at any time. If you’ve got a competitive streak and a penchant for golf,Powerstar Golf is exactly what you’re looking for.
For free, you get access to a hole from every course. You can play as much as you like, earn experience points, and unlock new persistent gear. However, you’re going to need to pony up some cash if you want to do much more than dabble with the mechanics. You can buy any of four courses for $6 a pop, or you can invest $20 for the “full game unlock” combo pack. There has been plenty of criticism aimed at the lackluster free-to-play aspects of this game, but if you enjoy the core gameplay, it’s well worth the investment in the paid content.
Xbox One Project Spark

Project Spark

If you’ve ever wanted to build your own video game before, you need to check out Project Spark. This free-to-play title from Microsoft Studios gives you the power to create your own gameplay experiences, and download the bizarre and incredible creations of other people. Much like LittleBigPlanet and Minecraft, this game is all about creating new things, and sharing them with the world.
Without spending money, your options are pretty limited. You can earn in-game currency by playing and creating, but by all accounts that process is very slow. For $40, you can invest in a starter pack that offers a substantial amount of variety, but you’ll probably still run into paywalls here and there. Microsoft sells “Spark tokens” in chunks ranging from $5 to $100, so don’t be surprised when the game leans on you pretty hard for an influx of cash

Powerstar Golf

Up for a few holes of golf? Take a look at Powerstar Golf from Zoë Mode, and you’ll find a stylish golf game with a lot to offer. As you play, you can unlock new clubs and balls to improve your stats, and turn your character into a real pro. This persistent golfing experience tracks how well you’re doing, and easily allows you to challenge your friends to beat your score at any time. If you’ve got a competitive streak and a penchant for golf,Powerstar Golf is exactly what you’re looking for.
For free, you get access to a hole from every course. You can play as much as you like, earn experience points, and unlock new persistent gear. However, you’re going to need to pony up some cash if you want to do much more than dabble with the mechanics. You can buy any of four courses for $6 a pop, or you can invest $20 for the “full game unlock” combo pack. There has been plenty of criticism aimed at the lackluster free-to-play aspects of this game, but if you enjoy the core gameplay, it’s well worth the investment in the paid content.
Xbox One Project Spark

Project Spark

If you’ve ever wanted to build your own video game before, you need to check out Project Spark. This free-to-play title from Microsoft Studios gives you the power to create your own gameplay experiences, and download the bizarre and incredible creations of other people. Much like LittleBigPlanet and Minecraft, this game is all about creating new things, and sharing them with the world.
Without spending money, your options are pretty limited. You can earn in-game currency by playing and creating, but by all accounts that process is very slow. For $40, you can invest in a starter pack that offers a substantial amount of variety, but you’ll probably still run into paywalls here and there. Microsoft sells “Spark tokens” in chunks ranging from $5 to $100, so don’t be surprised when the game leans on you pretty hard for an influx of cash
Xbox One Warframe

Warframe

Looking for something a bit more traditional? This multiplayer third-person shooter from Digital Extremes is worth checking out. Join up with a team of friends, and blast and hack away at the enemies to your heart’s content. This sci-fi shooter has earned acclaim on the PC and PS4 since 2013, and now Xbox One owners can enjoy the game as well.
Warframe does allow you to sink anywhere from $5 to $150 at a time on in-game currency, but don’t feel like any of that is required. You can play the game without spending a dime, and thoroughly enjoy yourself the entire time. Offering $150 chunks of currency definitely feels a little gross, but it comes with the territory. Game devs just can’t stop themselves from catering to the whales among us.
Xbox One Xbox Fitness

Xbox Fitness

This isn’t exactly what comes to mind when you think of free-to-play games, but Xbox Fitness is a neat package on offer from Sumo Digital. With this title, you can get fit in the real world with instruction from well-known exercise trainers like Jillian Michaels, Tony Horton, and Tracy Anderson.
The pricing model for Xbox Fitness is a little wonky, mind you. If you’re an Xbox Live Gold member, you currently have unlimited access until the end of the year. Starting in January, you’ll need to pony up for both a subscription and and Xbox Live Gold membership for continued unlimited access. Individual workout programs can be purchased à la carte with prices ranging between $9 and $60, but the “Gatorade Sports Performance Football Training Camp” routine is available at no cost.

I’d buy that for a dollar

Free-to-play is still a rapidly evolving experience — especially on the new consoles. Consumer expectations, development costs, and platform limitations make the business side of this extremely complicated. Even so, you can’t really argue with a price tag of zero from the consumer end. The extremely low barrier to entry can expose everyone to entirely new genres, and that’s worth the time investment. If you don’t like it, simply delete the game, and forget about it. If you find something you like, you get to choose exactly how much money you’re willing to spend on the entertainment. There’s a lot of potential for the model on the PS4 and Xbox One, and this is just the beginning.
If there’s another free-to-play game for the Xbox One that you’d like to recommend, let us know in the comments!

Friday, 17 October 2014

Assassin’s Creed Unity locked to 900p @ 30 fps, due to Xbox One and PS4′s weak CPU

Assassin's Creed Unity

Ready for yet another Assassin’s Creed game? Too bad! Ubisoft is releasing Assassin’s Creed Unity$59.96 at Amazon on the Xbox One and PS4 later this year, but it might not be the next-gen experience you’ve been hoping for. A Ubisoft representative caused an internet uproar earlier this week when he explained that the game is currently limited to 900p at 30 fps on both consoles. Sub-1080p game releases are slightly disappointing in general, but the specific wording around this game lead many to believe that the PS4 edition is being intentionally hobbled for the sake of platform parity.
In an interview at Video Gamer, Ubisoft’s Vincent Pontbriand explains the large amount of AI computation required for Assassin’s Creed Unity is what’s impacting performance the most. The CPU — not the GPU — is the bottleneck here. If that’s true, that certainly explains why both versions of the game are running at a lower resolution and frame rate. While the PS4 does have a superior GPU, both consoles are using very similar AMD Jaguar CPUs.
PS4 in white (Destiny version)The crux of the issue comes down to the way Pontbriand explained the limitations. Specifically, he said “We decided to lock [both versions] at the same specs to avoid all the debates and stuff.” To some, that was PR-speak for “The PS4 is being hobbled to make it look on par to the Xbox One version.” However, that doesn’t actually seem to be the case.
Read: Xbox One vs. PS4: How the final hardware specs compare
In a statement made to Kotaku, a Ubisoft representative unambiguously states “We did not lower the specs for Assassin’s Creed Unity to account for any one system over the other.” Considering that Pontbriand claims in the original article that the engine could run at 100 fps on the current hardware if the bottleneck around AI computation wasn’t in the mix, I believe Ubisoft’s denial. This seems like a legitimate limitation of the CPUs in the current crop of consoles — not a back-room business deal.
It is notable that it’s the relatively wimpy Jaguar CPU that’s being scrutinized, and not the usual my-GPU-is-bigger-than-yours argument that has dominated Xbox One/PS4 hardware spec debate so far. If developers are already running into issues with complex CPU-limited tasks, then it doesn’t bode overly well for the rest of the eighth generation.
Unfortunately, this seems to be a recurring issue for this generation of consoles. For many developers, there is a choice that has to be made between next-gen graphics or next-gen gameplay. Ubisoft is obviously willing to sacrifice frame rate and resolution in favor of drastically improved AI, but that seems to leave a bad taste in the mouths of many gamers and members of the enthusiast press. Frankly, it’s just disappointing to see so many games fail to hit 1080p60 in a world where 4K televisions and high frame rate video are proliferating so quickly.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Biggest next-gen games coming up: MUST CHECK

It’s been almost a full year since the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 hit the shelves, but it's only now that the game selection is really starting to catch up with their gargantuan sales figures. From survival horror to online, open world racer, there’s a lot to look forward to in the build up to the coming period. Every title here is set to hit both Microsoft and Sony’s latest consoles in the fourth quarter of this year. The following is far from an exhaustive list of what’s on offer for next-gen systems.

Shadow of Mordor

Shadow of Mordor takes established mechanics from other franchises, while adding its own f...
Set in the Lord of the Rings universe, Shadow of Mordor takes core movement and combat mechanics from the Assassin’s Creed and Batman: Arkham franchises and mixes in a gripping enemy hierarchy. Known as the Nemesis system, the feature pits players against an array of quarreling enemy captains, each with their own strengths and weaknesses.
You’ll find yourself forming rivalries with specific, procedurally-generated characters while traversing the moody open world. The latter half of the game even lets you exert your influence over captains, making them fight for you and helping them to rise up to the rank of Warchief. This adds an extra dollop of strategy on top of what’s already a winning formula.
Not only does the game look great on both Xbox One and PlayStation 4, but the mix of new and old mechanics makes for an experience that’s both fresh and familiar at once. Mordor is also a far more interesting place to spend a few dozen hours than we could have expected.
Shadow of Mordor is out now for Xbox One and PS4.

Alien: Isolation

Alien: Isolation does a great job of channeling the atmosphere of Ridley Scott's 1979 clas...
Creative Assembly is a studio known for its excellent, large-scale Total War strategy franchise, but Alien: Isolation proves that it's capable of producing a great, IP-driven horror game as well. From the moody atmosphere of the game’s Sevastopol station setting, to the excellent sound design and tiny details dotted around its rooms and corridors, the title is a love letter to Ridley Scott’s 1979 masterpiece.
The game has players focusing on stealth, spending most of their time tracking, hiding and avoiding a single, invincible foe. The creature itself isn’t scripted, but features a complex AI, meaning that no two play-throughs will ever be quite the same.
The title is both visually stunning and nerve-shreddingly intense. Not for the faint hearted.
Alien: Isolation is out now for Xbox One and PS4.

Destiny

Destiny may not be as massively multiplayer as advertised, but it's still a compelling tit...
Destiny may have been out for over a month, but it's still one of the biggest titles to hit shelves in the latter part of 2014. While it may not quite live up to the next-gen hype that preceded its arrival, it’s still a great online, team-based shooter with an open world mentality.
The first-person-shooter mechanics are as precise and satisfying as you would expect from Bungie, the studio that spawned the Halo franchise. We recently took a detailed look at the game, finding that while the players can safety ignore the game's thread-bare storyline, its gameplay, loot drive and drop-in playability make it well worth a look.
One of the most compelling aspects of Destiny is how it’s set to evolve over the coming months and years. Bungie has already announced two content packs for the game, with the promise of more to come. It’s worth noting that major content additions won’t be free, meaning you’ll have to shell out some extra cash if you want to experience new missions into 2015 and beyond.
Destiny is out now for Xbox One and PS4.

Assassin’s Creed: Unity

Assassin's Creed: Unity brings co-op to the series for the first time
Ubisoft’s pseudo-historical free running franchise went from strength to strength during the last console cycle, and the series’ first next-gen-only entry looks to evolve it in a number of key ways.
Not only is the title a significant visual upgrade over previous versions, but it also marks a return to the game’s stealth roots and throws co-operative play into the mix. Up to four players can work together to accomplish objectives, and the developer has made it clear that in Unity, direct combat is a last resort, only to be relied upon when more subtle approaches fail.
Conceptually speaking at least, the game’s 18th century Paris setting is also one of the strongest we’ve seen in an Assassin’s Creed game. The urban expanse is overflowing with iconic buildings and crowds of discontented citizens, making for a moody and engaging backdrop to the protagonists story.
Assassins Creed: Unity launches November 11 for Xbox One and PS4.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection

Halo: The Master Chief Collection should help fans endure the long wait for Halo 5: Guardi...
Though we’ll have to wait until 2015 for the next entry in the series, Halo: The Master Chief Collection should make that wait significantly more bearable. Developer 343 Industries has packed four full games (Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3 and Halo 4) onto a single disk, complete with each title’s separate multiplayer modes, accounting for more than 90 maps.
The second entry in the series is the only title to receive a full anniversary treatment, with the entire game (including six multiplayer maps), being completely re-made for the new release. All of the titles run at 1080p 60 fps resolution.
Halo: The Master Chief Collection launches November 11 for Xbox One.

GTA V

It's a testament to the quality of the original release that GTA V is one of our most anti...
It speaks volumes of Rockstar’s latest title that its re-launch on the PS4 and Xbox One is one of the most anticipated releases of the 2014 holiday season – a full year after its debut on the PS3 and Xbox 360.
We gave the title a glowing review when it arrived in November 2013, and the next-gen release is set to improve on the original in a number of small but significant ways. The vast majority of the changes are aesthetic, with the remastered game featuring a new foliage system, additional wildlife and denser traffic on roads.
The next-gen port will also bring with it enhanced vehicle damage and better weather effects, and players will be able to transfer their GTA Online characters from the old version to the new, providing both systems are on the same manufacturer’s consoles (i.e. PS3 to PS4 and Xbox 360 to Xbox One).
GTA V launches November 18 for Xbox One and PS4.

The Crew

The Crew is an open world, massively multiplayer racing game that incorporates RPG progess...
The Crew is a massively multiplayer racer that puts the entire United States on a disk. Well, we say entire, but in reality we’re looking at a shrunken down version of the country, with major cities positioned correctly, relative to each other, and the areas in-between being populated with roughly accurate scenery. Just because The Crew isn’t to scale certainly doesn’t mean it’s small, with it reportedly taking a full 90 minutes to cross the map.
The open world includes 15 famous cities, including Chicago, New York, Miami and Los Angeles, and tasks players with working together to accomplish goals. While playing the game, users will earn cash and gain experience, picking up equipment that has stats similar to what you’d find in an RPG. The developer hopes this will add a deeper and more nuanced sense of progression to the genre.
The Crew launches December 2 on Xbox One and PS4.

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare promises to make some much needed changes to the series' mu...
While recent entries in the Call of Duty franchise may have stayed true to the tried and tested formula, Advanced Warfare promises to make significant changes.
Like previous entries in the series, the new title heads into the future, but unlike 2012’s Black Ops 2, Advanced Warfare looks to add some new ideas. Similar to the Crysis franchise, the title gives players control of an exoskeleton-equipped soldier, giving them the ability to cloak, sprint faster, jump higher and more. When it comes to multiplayer, this allows for a greater degree of verticality in maps and more significant variation in player classes.
There has also been a significant graphical upgrade, with the title being the first next-gen-only release in the series as of yet. Its appeal is no doubt helped by the casting of the excellent Kevin Spacey as the shadowy leader of Atlas Corporation – the fictional world’s largest private military corporation.
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is released November 3 on Xbox One and PS4.

Far Cry 4

Far Cry 4 moves the series to a new, mountainous environment
Far Cry 4 sees the franchise move to Kyrat – a violent Himalayan setting. It gives players a brand new open world to explore, with varied terrain, a charismatic villain, and a host of new wildlife including rhinos and rideable elephants.
Big additions this time around are the ability to play the game with a friend, as well as a new gyrocopter vehicle that lets players scout out the map from the skies. Once you’re done flying around, there’s even a wing suit that allows you return to solid ground in style.
Overall, Far Cry 4 doesn’t look to be a re-invention of the franchise, but rather an evolution that offers new features and provides a whole new world to explore.
Far Cry 4 will hit shelves November 18 for Xbox One and PS4.

The Evil Within

Shinji Mikami’s new title, The Evil Within, pits players against a variety of grotesque, n...
Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami’s new game may not have the same widespread appeal as some of the other titles in this list, but that doesn’t stop it from being one of the most compelling.
Alien: Isolation might provide some tense, unscripted frights, but The Evil Within is a pure, bloody survival horror that looks to keep players on the edge of their seats from start to finish. Like every great title in the genre, the game provides you with very limited ammo and pits you up against a variety of grotesque, nightmarish foes.
The Evil Within is out now for both Sony and Microsoft’s next-gen console

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Hardcore PC gamers spend twice as much as others on their obsession

Take a gander through the comment section of any gaming-related article here on Engadget, and you're all but guaranteed to find at least one person espousing how much better playing games on a PC is compared to doing so on, say, a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One. But just who are those people? Joystiq has spotted a new report from The NPD Group that should shed some light on the situation. Understanding PC Gaming: 2014 calls them "heavy core" gamers. They spend five or more hours each week playing the likes of shooters and strategy titles, and have dropped about twice as much cash on games in the past three months compared to casual gamers. They, perhaps surprisingly, make up the smallest group surveyed: 20 percent compared to casual players' 56 percent, while light core (the same demographic as heavy core, but spends less time gaming on a weekly basis) sits at 24 percent of those 6,225 people questioned.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Nintendo is making two new versions of its 3DS portable console, arriving in Japan this October

Nintendo releases recorded video presentations, known as "Nintendo Direct," pretty often. Usually they're focused on games, or they highlight an upcoming season's game releases. This morning, however, Nintendo revealed two new versions of its wildly successful 3DS portable game console. And just like the Mario series, Nintendo's not pulling any punches when it comes to naming conventions: the new 3DS is simply called "New" 3DS. And yes, there's a "New" version of the larger 3DS XL, too.
As seen above, the smaller "New" 3DS has Super Nintendo-themed buttons on the right side. Just above those buttons is a new, tiny analog stick. Bizarrely, Nintendo's president Satoru Iwata compared the new analog stick to the GameCube controller's yellow C-stick (which was rarely used in GameCube games).
Beyond the new analog stick (it's really more of a nub, isn't it?), NFC tech is now built into the 3DS, making this holiday's Amiibo figures all the more logical. There's also a new microSD card reader below the base panel (which is now easily swappable for new designs) -- convenient! Oh, and in case it wasn't clear from the images, the "New" 3DS models are both slimmer and taller than the previous models.
There are two shoulder buttons now on each side as well, and the cartridge slot's been moved to the bottom front. There's also word of a new CPU inside the new 3DS, but we've got next to no info about it thus far. Presumably it helps with the new "Super-Stable 3D" functionality -- which Nintendo says "will provide players with an even more comfortable 3D gaming experience" -- though we'll need more info before we can be sure.
The "New" 3DS will be available this October 11th, but they've been announced for Japan only thus far; a press release from Nintendo says that North America and Europe shouldn't expect the new 3DS until some point in 2015. Pricing in Japan ranges from about $150 for the smaller version to about $180 for the XL ("LL" in Japan).
In other Nintendo news, the company this morning announced release dates and rollout plans for its Amiibo NFC figurines. The first 12 ("Mario, Peach, Link, Samus, Yoshi, Donkey Kong, Pikachu, Kirby, Fox, Marth, Villager and Wii Fit Trainer") are available for pre-order starting today, and there's no solid release date given; they cost $12.99 apiece. That said, they'll need to be available in time for Super Smash Bros. Wii U -- arriving at some point "this holiday season" -- as that's the first game that'll use them. Nintendo says that first dozen is just the beginning, and there's "more on the way in the future

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Watch Dogs: Analyzing the impact of Nvidia’s GameWorks integration and AMD performance

Watch dogs
Today, Ubisoft is launching its long-awaited Watch Dogs, a 3D open-world game in which the goal is to hack computer networks and take control of data nets to solve puzzles and track down story objectives instead of simply gunning down everyone you meet. Watch Dogs $59.99 at Dell has been held up as a visually stunning title that takes full advantage of modern GPU capabilities — and, notably, it makes prominent use of Nvidia’sGameWorks technology. For those of you that haven’t followed the GW saga, GameWorks is a set of proprietary libraries, distributed by Nvidia, used to implement common DirectX 11 functions. Developers that use these libraries cannot share the code with AMD for optimization and, in some cases, cannot see the source code at all. The result has been a competitive landscape that has often been significantly tilted against AMD.
Over at Forbes, reviewer Jason Evangelho has tested the R9 290X against the Nvidia GTX 770 with full results in a range of configurations coming today. His preliminary results show exactly the kind of skewed pattern I’d previously been concerned about, with the GTX 770 pulling ahead of the more expensive R9 290X at lower detail levels and only slipping barely behind at the highest 1080p settings. I spent a significant chunk of Monday attempting to replicate his results, but was unable to do so. My R9 290X results were somewhat faster than his, but his GTX 770 was turning in performance 15-20% faster than my own. His second more, comprehensive GPU review shows similar patterns.
WatchDogs
A quick check of the other Watch Dog reviews popping up across the net shows a different (and more conventional) performance distributions, with the R9 290X outperforming the GTX 770 by 18-20% at High detail in 1080p. That’s a bit lower than the typical margin of roughly 25% in a non-GameWorks title, but it’s not ridiculously low the way we’ve seen in some other GameWorks games like Arkham Origins. The other thing they reveal — and something I can vouch for myself in the small amount of time I had to run my own tests — is that this game is in pretty wretched shape.
Even on a GTX 770 with “High” Texture quality (recommended for GPUs with a 2GB frame buffer), the game tends to skip and stutter with unexplained performance drops. Rotate the camera quickly, and you’ll see the game engine stutter as it tries to keep up. This occurs on both graphics cards, but the problem honestly seems worse on the Nvidia side of the fence. Meanwhile, in the absence of an official timedemo, reviewers were free to create their own test runs — and many, including Guru3D, complained that the game’s performance was so erratic, it had to kill their attempt to test multiple cards due to high run variation.
Here’s what I saw between the R9 290X and the GTX 770 in a three-minute timedemo run through an early part of the game. I tested four different configurations with Texture Details set to “High.”
Watch Dogs
I ran the game through the same test area under a variety of settings, mostly adjusting the Ambient Occlusion and anti-aliasing options, since those are the areas where GameWorks is employed. HBAO+ is the type of ambient occlusion that Nvidia recommends using, while the MSAA test increases VRAM requirements and puts more pressure on the memory bandwidth and fill rates. When I tested the GTX 770 in Ultra detail with Ultra textures, as Forbes did, my own GTX 770 struggled to maintain 45 FPS.  Forbes’ results show it at 56 FPS — nearly matching the R9 290X in that mode.
Watch Dogs 1080p
Courtesy of Forbes
Because my own test version of the game was based on a pre-release copy (and Forbes’ wasn’t), and because I had very little time to actually evaluate the situation, I’ve got to put more weight on Forbes’ results. One common characteristic which multiple websites address is that the RAM requirements in Watch Dogs are absolutely enormous. GPUs running at 2560x1440p and 2560×1600 slam into the 3GB memory barrier on the Radeon 7970 or GTX 780 family, while 4K gaming is impossible on anything but Titan Black. The R9 290 family is better positioned in this regard; its 4GB buffer is large enough to allow a game to stretch its legs.

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Tetris is 30 years old today: The history of the world’s most successful game

Tetris on the Game BoyTetris, the world’s most successful game, is 30 years old today. Thanks to its simple and addictive gameplay, the massive popularity of the original Game Boy and mobile phones, an estimated 170 million copies of Tetris have been sold since its debut in 1984. Not bad for a game that was originally written at the height of the Cold War in the USSR on an Electronica 60 — a rack-mounted computer that lacked the ability to output graphics (the blocks were instead formed out of the Russian equivalent of ASCII).

Tetris was created by Alexey Pajitnov in 1984 while he worked at the Soviet Academy of Sciences. Considering it was created on an Electronica 60 — a clone of the DEC LSI-11 — very few people could actually play it. Pajitnov would soon give the Tetris code to Vadim Gerasimov, however, who qucikly ported it to the IBM PC. The original version of Tetris was much simpler than even the Game Boy version, without scoring or levels — the blocks, fashioned out of characters, just kept on falling at the same pace. “The program wasn’t complicated,” Pajitnov would later say. “There was no scoring, no levels. But I started playing and I couldn’t stop.” I like to think that Pajitnov was meant to be working on ways to blow up the USA with thermonuclear ICBMs, but got bored and wrote Tetris instead.
The name Tetris, incidentally, is a contraction of tetromino (each block is made of four squares) and tennis.
The very first version of Tetris, running in an emulator
The very first version of Tetris, running in an emulator
Obviously, once the IBM PC version of Tetris was created, the cat was out of the bag, with Commodore 64 and Apple II versions quickly emerging. It was soon discovered by the British company Andromeda, which, despite not owning the rights to the game, sold the rights to Spectrum HoloByte, which then sold the first commercialized version of Tetris, with Russian background images, in 1987. Despite the rather shaky licensing foundation, rights to Tetris continued to be passed around like candy. At this point, no versions of Tetris had actually gained the official rights from Pajitnov or the USSR. (Fun fact: “The Tetris Song” — yes, that song that gets stuck in your head — is actually a 19th-century Russian folk song called Korobeiniki.)
The Spectrum HoloByte version of Tetris, running on an Amiga
The Spectrum HoloByte version of Tetris, running on an Amiga
In 1988, the USSR eventually created an organization called Elektronorgtechnica that marketed and licensed Tetris. In 1989,Nintendo obtained a legitimate license and bundled Tetris with its new portable Game Boy. This resulted in the distribution of 35 million copies of Tetris — a single-platform record only beaten by Super Mario Bros on the NES and Wii Sports. (Interms of combined sales, though, Tetris is by far and away the leader.)
The rest of the story, as they say, is history. Pajitnov would eventually co-found The Tetris Company in 1996 and go on to obtain the worldwide rights for the game that he created 12 years earlier. Before 1996, due to all of the licensing shenanigans, Pajitnov’s earnings from Tetris had been pitiful. Now, presumably, he makes a buttload of cash. He also joined Microsoft in 1996, where he worked until 2005, but he has never again experienced the same runaway success as Tetris. You could almost call him gaming’s biggest one-hit wonder.
So, there you have it: From its genesis on a text-only computer terminal behind the Iron Curtain, to the most successful game of all time, by way of a skeevy British game publisher and Nintendo’s monumentally massive success in the ’90s. To celebrate, here’s one of my favorite videos of all time. Make sure you watch it through to the end, where the master/lunatic plays invisible Tetris.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Katee Sackhoff to star in EVE: Valkyrie



CCP have announced that Katee Sackhoff, the actress famous for playing Starbuck in Battlestar Galactica, has been cast in its new virtual reality flight simulator game, EVE: Valkyrie.
Sackhoff, who has also appeared in Nip/Tuck and the recent Riddick movie, will play the role of Ran, the first ever Valkyrie pilot who guides the player through the game.
CCP made the announcement to a packed hall in the HARPA convention centre in Rekjavick, Iceland, at this year's EVE Online Fanfest. In a video played to the audience, Sackhoff said she was thrilled by the prospect of appearing in the game.
"The first time I played EVE: Valkyrie, I immediately knew I had to be a part of it," said Sackhoff. "Even with the roles I have played, it is the closest I have ever felt to being a real spaceship pilot. It is a truly transformative video game experience."
EVE: Valkyrie was originally a planned PC release, using the groundbreaking Oculus Rift VR gaming headset. However, it was revealed at Fanfest that the game will also be landing on the PS4 console and Sony's Project Morpheus headset will be a part of its interface. 
The game puts players in the cockpit of numerous starfighters and then shoves them into VR dogfights against the AI and other players. We at T3 had a short go on it at Fanfest and will be posting our impressions later. 

Monday, 14 April 2014

Five things to know about 4K gaming: We’re glitching our way to gaming nirvana

Tomb RaiderWhen we reviewed the AMD R9 295X2 last week we took our first steps into testing 4K as well. 4K displays (3840×2160, technically) are The Next Big Thing for gaming, and with a graphics card as powerful as the R9 295X2, you really need to step into the 4K gaming world in order to benefit from the GPU’s full power. 4K displays capable of 60Hz can now be yours for as low as $700.
Here are five things you need to know about 4K gaming before you decide whether or not it’s worth jumping for. While we’ll have some benchmarks to show you, this article is about the experience of playing in 4K, rather than raw frame rates. To test the 4K experience we fired up a mix of the most popular games available on Steam, including Borderlands 2Total War: Rome 2, BioShock Infinite, Battlefield 4, The Walking Dead: Episode 2, Metro Last Light, Hitman: Absolution, Portal 2, and The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim. 
Note: In some cases, I’ve resized screenshots back to 1080p in order to make file sizes less onerous. I encourage you to click the images to zoom in; in the case of the 4K gameplay images, the level of detail is truly astonishing.

24 inches is too small

The Dell UP2414Q that AMD sent along with its R9 295X2 is easily the nicest monitor I’ve ever played with. It’s professionally calibrated and the IPS panel is simply gorgeous; I’ll be talking more about it in a second article. Given the enormous price gap between it ($1200) and a 32-inch display like the Asus PQ321Q ($2900) you might think the 24 inch panel is abetter deal.
It isn’t.
3820×2160 is 4x the resolution of 1920×1080, which means that screen elements are just 25% the size. Windows 8.1 includes a sophisticated scaling mechanism for improving fonts, menus, and windows, but this scaler is only reliably used in Microsoft’s own software. Many applications either ignore it or treat it incorrectly. A 32-inch display has 1.78x the surface area of a 24-inch monitor, which means screen elements rendered on a 32-inch panel will be 44.5% the size they were on a 1920×1080 panel as opposed to 25%.
At 24 inches, some applications are intolerably tiny. Here, for example, is the Origin login screen. This is its only size; increasing the scaling via Windows has no effect.
Origin login
Desktop icons and other in-game menus are often rendered in illegible fonts. Even when some game elements scale beautifully, others fall flat — in BF4, it’s impossible to read the Commo Rose, though all the other UI elements are rendered correctly.
BioShock Infinite
Good luck with that font.
In BioShock Infinite, you can’t read in-game texts or descriptions of objects without putting your nose against the monitor. Sometimes the games that scale well aren’t the titles you’d expect — big-budget productions like BioShock Infinite and Battlefield 4 have broken scaling in some areas, while The Walking Dead: Episode 2 has no such problem.
The Walking Dead

Saturday, 12 April 2014

New WWE title confirmed for next-gen release in 2015 fiscal year


The WWE franchise will make its next-gen debut during the 2015 fiscal year, president Karl Slatoff announced during Take-Two Interactive Software's recent earnings call.
"During fiscal 2015, consumers can look forward to exciting next-generation releases from our NBA 2K and WWE franchises as well as other unannounced titles that promise to raise the bar for excellence," Slatoff said. "We will have more to share about our titles throughout the next several months as we head into E3."
Take-Two's fiscal year ends March 31, 2015.
The most recent entry in the WWE 2K franchise, WWE 2K14, was released for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in October 2013. The game included a new "30 Years of WrestleMania" mode, which allowed players to relive famous matches.

Overpass, Evolved counter strike



Overpass, Evolved

Overpass is CS:GO’s first completely new defuse map designed with competitive play in mind. Since its release in December 2013, Overpass received seven updates based on feedback and data.
Below, we’ll discuss some changes we’ve made to the map, explain our thinking behind them, and give you some insight into what goes into creating and maintaining a map.

An Experiment

In defuse maps, the bombsites are the centers of attention. In Overpass, we experimented with a somewhat different setup: Counter-Terrorists were encouraged to defend Bombsite A away from the site. Bombsite B, conversely, functioned in a more traditional way, with most of the action being centered on the site itself.

Bombsite A




Retaking the site from the A tunnels was originally very difficult, because defenders could keep tabs on the area from many angles. Several changes were made to address this issue.
The CT vehicle was moved to provide better cover for players entering from the A tunnels. The red car was removed because it gave defenders an unfair advantage, allowing them to hold the site while only exposing their heads.
In addition, the truck (the Terrorist’s target) was moved to make hiding players stand out, and the fences defining the outer limit of the area were pushed back to give some more space to maneuver.
In the latest version, the concrete hut was opened up, giving a lone defender a safe but isolated spot to hold the site.

Bombsite B

As mentioned above, the bombsites in Overpass are quite different from each other.
Though we predicted that bombsite B would be prone to rushes, we found that the Counter-Terrorists had trouble getting to the site in time, often arriving just as the bomb was planted. This encouraged the Terrorists to continue to rush B, causing Counter-Terrorists to stack the site in an attempt to prevent an easy win.



The first update to the map addressed this issue by moving and reworking the bombsite layout, and also by adjusting the spawn positions of both teams to give the Counter-Terrorists time to set up.
The cover in the site was simplified and moved closer to the walls, improving readability in the area and making defensive positions more predictable. These positions can now be countered by smokes or flashes prior to moving into the site.



The layout of the canal area used to be very open, leading to situations where a Counter-Terrorist could push forward with relatively low risk, potentially getting the drop on unsuspecting Terrorists attempting to take the site. Combat was unpredictable, with no clear front-line.
The area was sectioned off, allowing the Terrorists to work the site with their back against the wall (and having safe areas to fall back on), and also allowing Counter-Terrorists to better predict where combat would occur and properly prepare for it.

Interior spaces

At the time of release, interior spaces were tight. They have since been widened, allowing teammates to move freely without bumping into each other or level geometry. The added space also allows players to safely navigate around corners to get a clear overview of the environment.






Faster Rotation

Thanks to player feedback, we learned that once players decided to attack a site they felt locked into that decision due to long rotation times. In response, we added two new connectors to the map.
One connects the bathrooms near Bombsite A to the upper park, enabling a single Counter-Terrorist to keep tabs on both areas and providing the Terrorist side with more options when attacking the site.



The second new route was added between the tunnels near Terrorist spawn and the Terrorist side of the Canals. The new connector cut down the time to move around the map, allowing greater flexibility in tactics.

Overpass, evolved

Overpass is still new, and there’s so much for everyone to learn. Even before the most recent updates, players were starting to find creative smokes and flashes to attack the revamped bombsites:

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