Crysis returns to its abusive roots

Subject: General Tech | March 14, 2013 - 01:57 PM |
Tagged: gaming, Crysis 3

While the actual content of the game might not live up to the original the hardware requirements certainly do, [H]ard|OCP reports that "no single-GPU video card tested today able to play it at the highest in-game settings at 2560x1600".  For those gaming at a mere 1080p you will be able to max out settings on AMD or NVIDIA's top single GPU cards.  It is not just about the resolution, this iteration of CryEngine features four different anti-aliasing technologies to choose from, each with their own benefits and costs.  Check out [H]'s review to see the screenshots of the various settings as well as estimating the kind of performance your system can achieve.

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"We have a full-look at Crysis 3 with the new patch that just released. We take it through its paces on eight GPU configurations. We find out what's playable, how it performs apples-to-apples. We look at all the AA modes compared in performance and image quality, and we find out if this game is a step forward for PC gaming, or a step backward."

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

Steam Box Prototypes Will Reach Developers Within The Next Four Months

Subject: General Tech | March 8, 2013 - 05:26 AM |
Tagged: valve, Steam Box, steam, pc gaming, gaming, console, big picture mode

In talking with the BBC, Valve CEO Gabe Newell revealed several details regarding the company’s upcoming Steam Box gaming PC. The console competitor will go up against Sony’s PlayStation 4 (PS4) and Microsoft’s Xbox 360 successor. So far we know that the Steam Box will utilize Valve’s Steam distribution service and its Big Picture Mode user interface. Valve will be manufacturing its own reference design, but third parties will also be allowed to construct Steam Boxes that will tap into Valve’s gaming library. Xi3 in particular looks to be at least one of the likely Steam Box partners to produce hardware.

Newell indicated that Valve would be sending prototype devices to customers within “the next three to four months.” The designs are not yet finalized, however, as evidenced by Newell’s statement that the prototypes would be used to gather feedback, and Valve is still working on balancing heat, noise, and performance.

“We're working with partners trying to nail down how fast we can make it.” - Gabe Newell in an interview with BBC before receiving an award for Portal 2.

Further, Valve has not yet determined exactly what it wants the controller to be. It will reportedly be shipping several different prototype controllers along with the Steam Box PCs. One area that Newell is particularly interesting in is in gathering bio-metric data -- such as heart rate -- and using that data to change the game experience for the gamer. This would be one area that Valve could focus on and have an advantage over other consoles. As a fully-fledged PC, the Steam Box could tap into existing bio-metrics technology and easily have the horsepower to effectively parse the bio-feedback. I can only think of a few situations in which such data would be useful (horror games, party/dancing/exercise games), but I do see it as being at least as beneficial as the Kinect was/is to the Xbox.

With that said, we still do not know much about the Steam Box. Much like the PS4, we still do not know what the actual hardware will look like (though we have at least been shown the PS4 controller). Pricing is also one of the major unknowns, and BBC reporter Leo Kelion quoted an industry analyst Lewis Ward (IDC) as noting that Valve will likely not be able to subsidize the hardware nearly as much as the other major console players (Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo) are able to. The Steam Box is inevitably going to be priced more in like with PCs than with consoles, as a result. On the other hand, gamers that buy a Steam Box can look forward to getting games that are much cheaper than the console equivalents. Give Steam Box gamers a couple of Steam holiday sales and they will easily make up the price difference!

What do you expect the Steam Box to be, and will it finally take PC gaming to the masses?

Source: BBC

From the depths of space an ancient vessel drifts slowly towards the Imperium of Mankind

Subject: General Tech | March 6, 2013 - 02:07 PM |
Tagged: gaming, space hulk, kick ass

This is a good year for a certain subset of gamers who bear a love-hate relationship with Games Workshop.  Not only have we heard tell of Blood Bowl 2 and a free to play Blood Bowl: Star Coach which will resemble a blood soaked Football Manager but finally Space Hulk will be arriving thanks to Full Control.  A classic turn based game pitting Space Marine Terminators against unlimited amounts of Genestealers that is almost impossible to win.  Players often brag about their most memorable losses than their occasional victories but either can be guaranteed to be full of guts, Flamers and Power Fists.  Keep your eyes on Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN for more details as they may be the only ones more excited about this than I.

"SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK"

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Will you play Crysis 3?

Subject: General Tech | February 27, 2013 - 03:50 PM |
Tagged: gaming, Crysis 3

While Crysis 3 is an incredible benchmarking tool, bringing even the new TITAN to its knees when played on multiple monitors it was actually designed to be a game that you play.  With Crysis 2 being such a disappointment to PC gamers after the incredible sandbox which was Crysis, many gamers  are a little leery of paying full price for the third installment.  Techgage recently published a review of the game, all 6 hours or so of playtime.  The suit and weapons upgrade system returns, with the Strength power returning from the first game for those who like a more physical game. They also added an unfortunate hacking mini-game and the AI might be better than Colonial Marines but is still in need of some polishing.  Multiplayer is strong, as anyone who tried out the Alpha or Beta can attest to but for the single player you should read through the review if you are on the fence about purchasing this game.

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"Following the events of Crysis 2, we find ourselves back in New York – but this time, things have changed. The city has turned into an urban rainforest, and while CELL is working towards global domination, Ceph continue their war against humanity. Only one man can save mankind: “They call me Prophet”."

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Source: Techgage

Torment: Tides of Numenera lives!

Subject: General Tech | February 20, 2013 - 02:47 PM |
Tagged: planescape, torment, numenera, gaming

Planescape:Torment 2, aka the Tides of Numenera now has a website to whet your thirst for this project.  It will not be a direct sequel or clone of the first game, it will not even use AD&D rules, instead being an adaptation of the existing Numenera RGP which you can check out here.  Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN has been following the early development of this game, from its first crowdfunded inception to the latest and greatest news from the developers.  Check out the new webpage and news at Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN.

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"Numenera’s Ninth World is a fantastic vision of a world in which massive civilizations have risen and fallen – disappeared, transcended, overwhelmed, or destroyed – and left their cities, monuments, and artifacts behind. As each rose and fell, their achievements became part of the accumulated detritus of eons… but much of it did not decay. And now this assortment of ancient power is there for the taking, ever-present, underfoot. The humans of the Ninth World take and use what they can. They call these wonders (and horrors) the numenera."

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Finally SHODAN rides again

Subject: General Tech | February 13, 2013 - 01:31 PM |
Tagged: gaming, system shock 2, GOG, steam, kick ass

It has been a long drawn out battle but gamers can finally claim a victory as Good Old Games and Steam finally get the rights to distribute System Shock 2, one of the best FPS games ever released.  Not only were the mechanics, (can you say leaning?) and the AI but the story and atmosphere were the scariest around at the time and still compete well with similar modern games such as Dead Space.  The team at Night Dive has been working hard on stability and option improvements as well as adding in soundtracks, interviews and other historical documents from the games inception.  You will be able to pick up the game 16.5 hours from the writing of this post for $10, well worth the investment and much more fun and probably less buggy than Colonial MarinesCheck out Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN's interview with the team that has finally been allowed to provide the most requested old game around.

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"RPS: You have updated the Night Dive website to read: “System Shock franchise to resurface with GOG/Steam release”. What is your involvement in the release and is the digital version an update, with high-res textures etc, or a straight re-release?

Kick: Night Dive Studios secured the license to distribute the game, and made the initial modifications to allow the game to run on most current operating systems.

Rambourg: There are some user-made mods out there which do phenomenal work on the game’s stability, but none of them were quite perfect, so we took the game to our expert techninjas to analyse and swat the remaining bugs. It was some work to get it done, but as this is a game that we’ve wanted to release for four-plus years, it was also definitely a labour of love."

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WINEing about the profitability of selling games for Linux

Subject: General Tech | February 7, 2013 - 12:43 PM |
Tagged: carmack, linux, gaming, wine

John Carmack has been stirring the pot recently, from the questionable launch of the PC version of Rage, to poking at consoles remaining capped at 30fps to his disappointment in iD abandoning mobile game development.  More recently he has gone on record stating that there is little to no money to be made developing games for Linux.  His company has tried, Quake Arena and Quake Live both proved to be difficult to create and to have limited adoption as a test for the amount of possible sales.  This does not mean he has given up on Linux users completely, instead as he told The Inquirer he sees a different solution to the difficulties involved in designing games for Linux; improve WINE.  With a faster and more stable Windows (not an) Emulator for Linux iD and other companies wouldn't have to worry about parallel development, it would come closer to compile once and run anywhere.  Even better for game developers, there is already a dedicated group of programmers improving WINE so they would not lose man-hours better spent designing games.  You can also catch his comments about Steam appearing on Linux.

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"LEGENDARY GAMES DEVELOPER John Carmack has questioned the business model of porting Windows games to Linux, saying that using Windows emulation might be a better approach."

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Source: The Inquirer

Antichamber; there's an odd one

Subject: General Tech | February 6, 2013 - 03:46 PM |
Tagged: gaming, surreal, antichamber

Antichamber is hard to describe, simply defining it as Portal-like misses just how strange the physics are in this game.  Switching to a walk from your normal movement speed might just allow you to walk up invisible stairs which are intangible otherwise is certainly different than Portal as are the parts where looking through an object or simply looking at an object can change your position or a portion of the mazes position.  Progress is mostly kept track of through the various pictures you click which will reveal clues which might or might not be useful.  On the other hand the 'gun' you get which places and removes cubes is a little like Portal.  Confused?  Read on at Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN and be prepared to be even more baffled and head to Steam to pick it up.

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"Truth be told, Antichamber felt nearly finished the first time I ever laid hands on it. That was nearly a year ago. But creator Alexander Bruce insisted that – even after multiple years of near-obsessive fine-tuning – his non-Euclidean, Escher-ish, other impressive words that start with E puzzler needed more. So now here we are. But is it actually, truly finished? And was it worth the interminable, largely radio silent wait? Here’s wot I think."

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New 3DMark Benchmarking Suite Release Is Imminent

Subject: Graphics Cards | February 2, 2013 - 03:29 AM |
Tagged: gpus, gaming, Futuremark, benchmarking, 3dmark

Futuremark, developers of the popular 3DMark and PCMark computer hardware benchmarks has announced an official release date for the next version of 3DMark. The company has teased gamers and reviewers with screenshots as well as hinted that the name would no longer have the release year tacked onto the end of the name, but now the benchmark is finally official.

The new 3DMark will come in several different flavors aimed at Windows PCs, iOS, Android, and Windows RT devices. It will continue the trend of offline benchmarking and scoring paired with a web interface where users can see detailed benchmark run analysis.

3DMark benchmarking stats output.jpg

The new 3DMark benchmark will include feature tests, a DX10 benchmark called Cloud Gate, and a DX11 benchmark called Fire Strike. Once the benchmark has completed, users will be able to dig into the web interface to access charts and graphs that cover the benchmarking runs from beginning to end. The graphs will track CPU clockspeed and utilization as well as temperatures for both the processor and graphics card(s).

On the mobile side of things, 3DMark will use a graphics test called Ice Storm that is more suited to ARM SoCs with integrated graphics processors. No DX11 goodness here, obviously.

The PC version of 3DMark will be available for download on February 4, 2013 at 18:00 UTC. Unfortunately, there is no official release dates for the mobile versions. Futuremark has indicated that they will be released over the next few weeks as they are finalized.

You can find more information on the next 3DMark benchmark on the Futuremark website.

Source: Futuremark

AMD Releases Catalyst 13.2 Beta GPU Driver With Optimizations For Crysis 3

Subject: Graphics Cards | January 31, 2013 - 08:04 AM |
Tagged: PC, gaming, amd, graphics drivers, gpu, Crysis 3, catalyst

The Crysis 3 beta was launched January 29th, and AMD came prepared with its new Catalyst 13.2 beta driver. In addition to the improvements rolled into the Catalyst 13.1 WHQL graphics driver, Catalyst 13.2 beta features performance improvements in a number of games.

Foremost, AMD focused on optimizing the drivers for the Crysis 3 beta. With the new 13.2 beta drivers, gamers will see a 15% performance improvement in Crysis 3 when using high MSAA settings. AMD has also committed itself to future tweaks to improve Crysis 3 performance when using both single and CrossFire graphics configurations. The driver also allows for a 10% improvement in CrossFire performance in Crytek’s Crysis 2 and a 50% performance boost in DMC: Devil May Cry when running a single AMD GPU. Reportedly, the new beta driver also reduces latency issues in Skyrim, Borderlands 2, and Guild Wars 2. Finally, the 13.2 beta driver resolves a texture filtering issue when running DirectX 9.0c games.

For more details on the driver, AMD has posted the change log on its blog as well as suggested image quality settings for AMD cards running the Crysis 3 beta.

Now watch: PC Perspective live streams the Crysis 3 Multiplayer Beta.

 

Source: AMD