The Sunday Papers

By Jim Rossignol on June 16th, 2013 at 3:43 pm.


Sundays are for getting home late from London because of tea. No, really, tea is to blame for a late Sunday Papers.

  • True PC Gaming’s Roguelikes Breakdown is, well, true PC gaming. They don’t manage to avoid the “rouge” typo, though. “When you find loot in a Roguelike it may not always be something good. One of the classic tropes is undefined items. In these games you will come across a potion and the only description you get is – a blue potion. You have no idea what it does. Well, why would you? Some guy just wandering through a dungeon shouldn’t automatically know everything about what’s down there. You have three choices of what to do with the blue potion: drink it, drop it or hold it and hope to identify it later. Drinking is the quickest, but most dangerous, option. Some potions may restore health or temporarily increase your attack power, but not all are beneficial. If it poisons, paralyzes or permanently reduces your strength then you know not to drink any more.”
  • More of Electron Dance’s series on the shooter: “The 3D shooter was still just a shooting game at the end of the day and it would take Half-Life (Valve, 1998) to demonstrate that the shooter could shed its simple traditions and become a movie simulator. Cutscenes became scripted events that happened around the player and the difference was profound; instead of the tried and trusted method of separating fiction from game, developers began to blend them. Titles like Unreal (Epic MegaGames, 1998) and Shogo: Mobile Armor Division (Monolith Productions, 1998) also dabbled with story elements in the same year but it was Half-Life that raised the bar.”
  • Brandon Sheffield talks to Khang Le about the art and design of Hawken: “As far as mech aesthetics go, there’s a lot of different variety that people are used to, and they like a certain type. There’s Transformers, Gundam, Evangelion, the humanoid-looking mechs that has a head and fingers. There’s the American-style mechs with the lumbering gait, feels like a machine — the mechs in MechWarrior or the robot in Robocop (ED-209). There’s also very sleek-looking… like Bubblegum Crisis, that type of mech. The one I really like, my personal favorite, is just an old, basically 1980s kit bash style, it’s from this Japanese designer named Kow Yokoyama. He does a line of robots called Maschinen Krieger, so they kinda look like World War I, if World War I had tech robots and mechs. That’s what they look like.”
  • The Escapist on the silent protagonist.
  • Jason Schreier’s piece on Trendy Entertainment is quite the read: “A Skype log obtained by Kotaku shows Stieglitz talking about one of the female characters in Dungeon Defenders II in terms that made at least a few employees uncomfortable. “Needs to be more like [a] Brazilian beach super model if you know what I mean,” he writes. “”It’d also be nice if the ass was attractive.”"
  • Russ Pitts on Destiny at E3. I firmly believe Bungie need to stop being so pathetic and commit to PC on this one.
  • “You’re not wrong, Microsoft, you’re just an asshole.”
  • Kunzelman on Remember Me: “The reason that I’m making this post is that an incredibly beautiful thing happens around the 70 or 80 minute mark. I talked a little bit on twitter how the androids/gynoids of Remember Me triggered some kind of teary aesthetic sublime for me, but that was a creeping feeling that sat around me like a cloud for the entirety of the game. The moment that I’m talking about wasn’t like that–it only happened once, and when it happened I smiled the biggest goofy smile. Then I did it over and over again.”
  • I’m thinking about graphics card upgrade time, so found myself read this review.
  • On Thomas Backlund: “Quitting my apartment and my job at the same time was really hard to do. I had elevated adrenalin levels for days. To sooth the waves of anxiety that swept over me regularly, I had one picture that I kept looking at. It was a picture of the beautiful forest which I was to move to. That gave me strength to take the steps necessary to get on the trail.”

Music this week is Thomas Koner’s Daikan.

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105 Comments »

  1. sinister agent says:

    Hawken’s designs look fine and all, but it’s all wasted because the differences are all meaningless. You could replace them with human-shaped figures and the game would be no different for it. In most games you won’t even pay much attention to the designs, because you’re shooting at a floating HUD icon rather than trying to disable a machine.

    It’s a fun game, and some of the sounds and art are impressive, but their use of the robotic theme is really underwhelming.

    As for silent protagonists, sure, they absolutely have a place. But criticisms of Gordon Freeman et al as boring un-characters are accurate. A blank slate is a boring image.

    • Yosharian says:

      “As for silent protagonists, sure, they absolutely have a place. But criticisms of Gordon Freeman et al as boring un-characters are accurate. A blank slate is a boring image.”

      Nope

      • sinister agent says:

        Gosh, good point. I hadn’t thought of that.

      • Dave Tosser says:

        Yes.

      • kament says:

        Nope, it’s just not character, not really. Yes, it’s not necessarily an emotionless blob, provided player fills the blanks. But there’s undeniable difference between empty canvas and actual painting. As for what is more interesting… well, I guess it depends on your creativity. ;)

        Silent protagonist can arguably make for a better avatar, but character it is not.

      • Ultra Superior says:

        Silent or not, it all comes to down to your actions.
        If you can influence the world around yourself, being mute is kind of good – game’s screenwriter does not interfere with *your* character.

        However, in a linear shooter, where all is linked up for you by a tight script (Half Life 2), being mute is just another of many limits imposed upon you.

        You can pretend that you i.e. love or hate ALEX *in your head*, but you can’t do ANYTHING ABOUT IT in game.

        Not even tell her.

        Observing Freeman’s actions… he comes around as an android-slave/killing machine at best.

        • DerNebel says:

          Look, he’s kept in stasis for an undetermined amount of time, or “turned off” if you like. Then he is dumped into a warzone with no indication of what the fudge is going on, told to kill whoever is in his way to make it to a certain point, just keep going with no explanation whatsoever. When his bloody work is done he is returned into stasis, effectively being “turned off” by the G-man. He doesn’t just act like an enslaved killing machine, he IS an enslaved killing machine. He fights because that’s the only way to survive.

          For me, the only truly happy ending to Half-Life would be to see Gordon freed from slavery, living an actual, peaceful life somewhere. I’d like to see the scientist-turned-soldier become a civilian again.

          I’ll admit to being hazy on exactly what happened in episode 2 though.

          • The Random One says:

            My personal canon is that the HEV suit has a self-preservation program that overrides the wearer’s movement and forces to to act like a killer. Gordon doesn’t want to be a hero and in fact has been crying nonstop since the resonance cascade.

          • Slurpy says:

            Close. Gordon’s not crying, he’s dead. He’s been dead for ten years, and the HEV suit is just moving his corpse around. Alyx and Eli and the rest just haven’t looked closely enough through the faceplate to see his mummified melon.

    • Dave Tosser says:

      “As for silent protagonists, sure, they absolutely have a place. But criticisms of Gordon Freeman et al as boring un-characters are accurate. A blank slate is a boring image.”

      Yes

      • Imbecile says:

        “As for silent protagonists, sure, they absolutely have a place. But criticisms of Gordon Freeman et al as boring un-characters are accurate. A blank slate is a boring image.”

        Aubergines.

        • Pliqu3011 says:

          “As for silent protagonists, sure, they absolutely have a place. But criticisms of Gordon Freeman et al as boring un-characters are accurate. A blank slate is a boring image.”

          Wumbo.

    • Jimbo says:

      “As for silent protagonists, sure, they absolutely have a place. But criticisms of Gordon Freeman et al as boring un-characters are accurate. A blank slate is a boring image.”

    • Jason Moyer says:

      “As for silent protagonists, sure, they absolutely have a place. But criticisms of Gordon Freeman et al as boring un-characters are accurate. A blank slate is a boring image.”

      Nah.

    • Hypocee says:

      Too right. Neither environment nor plot exist, and nobody has ever looked at anything interesting through a window.

      Hint: Half-Life 1 became the posterboy for the new narrative form because it spent half an hour at the start solely establishing Gordon’s character.

    • Deviija says:

      “As for silent protagonists, sure, they absolutely have a place. But criticisms of Gordon Freeman et al as boring un-characters are accurate. A blank slate is a boring image.”

      Yep, yep, yep. There is a world of difference between a windowpane acting as an immersion tactic to make the player feel themselves transposed upon the silent protagonist, and a silent character that is simply without a voice but has plenty of choices that impact the world and companions and their own agency. Compare Gordon Freeman to The Warden from DAO, as an example. Warden might be silent but is in no way just a passive person that is caught up in the linear storyline that pushes them along without any input, roleplay potential, or agency in pursuit of the plot and personal objectives.

      Compare Gordon to the likes of 90′s silent JRPG characters like Cloud. There is more similarities, imo, but it still is quite a fair share different as well.

      Anywho, yes. Silent protagonists don’t need to mean boring. As well, talkative and defined set protagonists don’t always make for interesting or deep characters either. But that’s a topic for another time.

      • malkav11 says:

        The Warden may not be voiced, but is not a silent protagonist – they talk all the time through the dialogue choices you make for them. Truly silent protagonists never actually communicate with anyone else in the game, and that’s why they tend to be boring and immersion-breaking.

        • Wisq says:

          And some of us find non-silent protagonists boring (because we’re told what we’re supposed to think) and immersion-breaking (because that’s not what we think).

          • malkav11 says:

            That would be true if nonsilent protagonists were expected to be player standins. But typically they are at least partially predefined characters with their own history, agenda and beliefs. You may not like them or enjoy playing from their perspective, but you’re certainly not expected to identify with them any more so than you would be expected to identify with the protagonist of a novel or movie.

            And because they have a character and inhabit the gameworld, they fit far more naturally in my experience than a Gordon Freeman or silent JRPG protagonist at whom NPCs casually monologue without ever apparently expecting or requiring a response. This isn’t to say that the latter are always inappropriate – if it’s an uninhabited gameworld, or peopled only by savage monsters, then by all means, establish a player surrogate if you’d rather. But please don’t expect me to buy the mute savior thing anymore.

    • Focksbot says:

      Let’s put it this way: I’d prefer a brilliantly written, memorable protagonist to a silent protagonist.

      But I’d prefer a silent protagonist to a badly written, generic action hero.

      And given how most developers struggle to keep the writing quality high, I think the proliferation of silent protagonists is very sensible indeed.

    • bill says:

      Didn’t Gordon Freeman win some big cross-platform ‘best video game character ever’ vote a year or two back? He seems pretty popular for a boring blank slate.

      I don’t think of silent protagonists as characters at all. Isn’t the whole idea that it lets YOU be the character?

    • benkc says:

      I feel like people who are dead-set against silent protagonists must not do nearly enough talking at their games.

  2. martinVM says:

    Hello, just registered to register my approval over the choice of afternoon tea. It’s one of the best meals ever and it’s completely underrated by most people in my opinion. I have been reading this blog for about two years by the way and I think it’s fantastic!

  3. kwyjibo says:

    Vanity Fair did a piece on the Activision/Infinity Ward/Respawn clusterfuck. There’s probably nothing new in the piece for those already familiar with it, but it’s a good overview.

    http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/2013/06/lawsuit-video-game-activision-zampella-west

    The American Scholar has a piece about video game violence, but really – it’s about war

    http://theamericanscholar.org/playing-at-violence/#.Ub3Rwdh2F1Y

  4. YogSo says:

    The CRPGAddict’s final rating of NetHack is also a very compelling reading to anyone interested in Rogue-likes.

  5. CobraLad says:

    Wow, that dungeon defenders 2 guy is a real creep, althought as freelance artist, I got “pleasure” of meeting guys like that. One of my test tasks, which is a real Skype conversation:
    “Draw me some steampunk girl with gun and tits”
    “(.)(.)”

    • RedViv says:

      Yeah, when I read that article last week I really felt like puking, as I tend to give money to people who make amusing and nice games, when they offer skins and additional characters and such, which I did in case of DD. Seeing that I mostly supported such a HORRIBLE person, and not the people slaving under him… Uuuuh.

      • Rikard Peterson says:

        The update to that article indicates that there’s hope for change though.

        • Malibu Stacey says:

          Hope they’ll learn from all the mistakes of the first game? Doubtful when they had more than a year to fix the connectivity problems which VALVe themselves identified & Trendy continued to ignore.
          Perhaps they’ll write a PC game this time instead of a console game badly ported to PC.

  6. RedViv says:

    That the majority of the decision-makers at MS seem to think that all this regional restriction and Live! access business is just all right, with all the people they exclude and the bad communication and the snobby comments, is only astonishing to me.

    • tobecooper says:

      I think they -must- have gathered some serious data off of their windowses and xboxes and lives! that suggest a lot of people have a good internet connection, and most of of them are willing to pay a lot of money for games. The data must be so strong that they decided to absolutely and unconditionally trust it – thus a Corporate Bible was created, or rather a Corporate Necronomicon. One look inside and you gain infinite knowledge on ‘the consumer’ and the creature’s silly ways.

      • Shuck says:

        The statistics I’ve read indicate that 20-something percent of Xbox 360s have never been connected to the internet. So either Microsoft are writing off that portion of their user base (which they can’t afford to do), or they’re assuming that players will set up internet just to use the Xbone. Which is rather presumptuous.

        • tobecooper says:

          Hmm, I suspect that maybe it’s the other way around. Microsoft believes that anyone with Internet connection will want to use their console. They expect an influx of people buying xbone for it’s ‘Center of Home Entertainment’ value.

          • Shuck says:

            “You can watch television through it! Who would not want this!”
            “Well, anyone with any existing console, or an internet-ready television, or any sort of set-top box…”
            “Have that man thrown to the wolves.”

        • Slurpy says:

          Well, here’s the thing. If those 360s have NEVER been connected to the internet, there is no way for MS to know that they were sold. MS thinks they’re still sitting in Best Buy’s back room, so they have 100% connectivity from sold systems!

          Brilliant!

      • RedViv says:

        Ah, that explains it all. Kin’Ekt and Xb’ohn are likely just shards of the avatars of a vast and incomprehensibly Eldritch entity then, their installation in EACH and EVERY home on this planet being only one of the steps required to summon it!

      • The Random One says:

        Geez, I wonder if the data they gathered by examining consoles that were hooked to Live mightn’t be a little biased towards people who have no problem hooking their consoles to the internet.

    • aepervius says:

      MY take on this is that they are actually not pandering to the consummer, us the gamer, but actually hoping that the publisher will jump on the bandwagon and ignore/or give worst deal to PS4 since it has no “protection” and give more exclusive/better deal to microsoft since it can make to kill the used game market.

      Now whether that strategy will work, and publisher will take a slight loss of market for a better long term deal is to be seen (if it works next gen after PS4/Xbone WILL kill the used game market and require internet connection).

      IMHO from a publisher point of view, I would very carefully check if I could have an exclusive on XBone, because long term it would be better for me than the status quo PS4. We shall see.

      • LionsPhil says:

        It’s also worth considering the XBone vs Steam (or Origin or UPlay or some hypothetical GFWL that actually worked) in terms of publisher droolworthyness; a lot of what MS are doing with it are following the well-trodden lines of account-locked DRM on PCs.

        Publishers are ALREADY happy with this arrangement elsewhere.

    • Paul.Power says:

      PS4 does what the Xbox One’t, if you will.

      Not that I’m likely to get either: I’ll probably stick to the PC and 3DS for this generation. I might get a Wii U eventually – getting the first ever legal European release of Earthbound would be pretty neat.

  7. Upper Class Twit says:

    How the hell does not committing to one’s video game platform of choice make a developer “pathetic”?

    • Reapy says:

      Honestly destiny will be just fine without us pc players, which is a real shame because I would be all over this one if it were, and I haven’t touched a shooter in years.

  8. Bhazor says:

    What in the hell is that Kunzelman article talking about?

    • tobecooper says:

      To simplify (maybe too much):

      He likes the visuals of Remember Me, but they are still very ‘typical.’ A sort of a thing that you would expect in any other cyberpunk/sci-fi. Even the main character does the usual jumpy-climbings that could happen in games taking place during the time of Crusades (asscreed).

      And then the interaction with a sign let him see something new, something that he felt was particularly ‘real’ through it being so different from our expectations/the rest of the game, and that part resonated with him, enough to jump through the freaking thing a number of times, then make a gif out of it, find a video with it, and write a text about it.

  9. InternetBatman says:

    “If we ignore Microsoft’s terrible marketing and judge the Xbox One objectively, it’s a fine system – a home entertainment system built for the future that should provide an unparalleled user experience.”

    The tech crunch article reads like MS damage control. I wish I knew a phrase that meant the opposite of “damn with faint praise,” maybe praise with faint damning?

    • Sheng-ji says:

      “There shouldn’t be anymore surprises. Hopefully.”

      Presumably this article was written before Microsoft announced their region control which makes the developers of Microsoft xbox One launch title Witcher 3 unable to play their own game for Poland is NOT going to be supported at launch.

      • LionsPhil says:

        Oh man, I didn’t know Witcher 3 was a launch title for XBone, so had missed that connection. That’s priceless.

      • WrenBoy says:

        I have heard that the xbone will have ridiculous region locking but I dont get what you are saying here. The Polish version wont be available at launch is it?

        • Dominic White says:

          Not only does the console have ridiculous region locking, but the console isn’t even being released in Poland, period.

          They didn’t tell this to the developers – who are Polish – at all. Not at any point during development. They found out after Microsoft released a list of release countries at E3. They are NOT happy.

          The region-lock seems like it’s going to be IP-location based, so this means that even if a Polish gamer imported the console and a copy of The Witcher 3 of the correct region for the hardware, it still wouldn’t work.

          The PS4 has no region locking, BTW.

          • WrenBoy says:

            Wow. Its like theyre trying to fail.

            Ballmer must be in some kind of Brewsters Millions type of situation. Only explanation I can think of.

  10. Snargelfargen says:

    Smith recommends players new to roguelikes start with TOME… I think I would actually recommend Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup first. Crawl actually has a really nice looking tileset, and more importantly, it’s incredibly well balanced. Death is the result of mistakes, and it’s almost always possible to understand what went wrong, and how to fix it the next time.

    TOME on the other hand is incredibly unbalanced, partly because the game is designed around mmo-style character builds and also because of the bewildering and sometimes completely broken random abilities unique enemies can get. Don’t get me wrong it’s a lot of fun, and the multiple lives make up for it’s flaws. It can be very frustrating to newbies though, and I think the removal of permadeath, unidentified items and free-form character creation basically make it not a roguelike at all.

    • Amphouse says:

      Well…I’ve never played Crawl so I can’t comment on it, but ToME was my first roguelike ever and I found it fairly easy to learn, mostly thanks to the in-game chat, which is incredibly useful for new players; no need to constantly check the wiki. If you have a simple question just ask it, the ToME community is great and is a major reason why ToME is one of my favorite games right now.

      Also, the random rares aren’t as bad as you say; they can certainly kill you, but if you’ve got an escape method(movement infusion or teleport) and a wild infusion you can usually get away when things get rough.

    • The Random One says:

      Crawl is also the only roguelike I know that has a tutorial, which is actually just three suggestions of beginner-friendly class-race combinations for you to play but helped me immensely when I was starting out.

      The only problem is that you might get spoiled and not want to play any other turn-based game without auto-explore!

    • onyhow says:

      Meh, no…DCSS I feel is still too hard for complete beginners…they should be starting with either Brogue or Dredmor instead…

      • Caiman says:

        Disappointed that brogue isn’t mentioned at all in the article. It’s the most enjoyable roguelike I’ve played in ages, so polished and full of character, and it goes about as far as you can with the ASCII tileset using colour and animation. It’s tough, like all roguelikes, but somehow it feels like it’s possible to beat the game… just one more go. I’d definitely recommend brogue to a beginner – a true ASCII rogue that’s the most accessible. Stone Soup is great, but like a fine wine it’s not for those new to the experience.

  11. Fumarole says:

    You’re not wrong, Microsoft, you’re just an asshole.

    Yeah well, you know that’s just like, your opinion, man.

    • dE says:

      It looks like a lot of money has changed hands for that Advertisement. It comes across as a guys, guys, listen, guys, listen let’s be neutral and objective here, right guys? Listen?” and then gushes enthusiasm and XBOX FUCK YEAH all over the damn thing, calling essentially watching television an “unparalleled experience”, proclaiming the failed Kinect a new dimension of gaming, while nodding off those few negative things and ending on an odd jab at Sony in the vein of “hey at least Microsoft is not hiding something, right? Like Sony, which I’m not implying but totally implying by dropping that right after mentioning how dull the PS4 looks in comparison to this shiny metapher of divinity that is the next XBox”.

      There’s contrarian, there’s devil’s advocate, then there’s honest enthusiasm and then there’s paid ad-job article, which this pretty much looks like.

      • Fumarole says:

        Obviously you’re not a golfer.

      • F3ck says:

        …not into the whole “brevity” thing.

        • SominiTheCommenter says:

          Shut the fuck up, Donny!
          Are we gonna split hairs here? Am I wrong?

      • Nick says:

        Nihilists. Fuck me. I mean, say what you like about the tenets of national socialism, Dude, at least it’s an ethos.

      • MajorManiac says:

        I see your point. Only a PR person would write – “It guarantees that games will not be pirated…”

        Whatever….Dude.

      • dE says:

        Seemingly, my post generated a lot of hate, for whatever reason that might be. Maybe it’s the fancrowd or the typical internet toughie cookie crowd. Nothing that can be done about it. No matter how often I read the article and assume it is neutral, the result always is: nope it is not, it’s an advertisement in the shape of an article. There’s no path in my brain where any parts of the article can lead to anything but an ad piece.

  12. bad guy says:

    Too bad Mechwarrior: Living Legends (the über mech game) goes on unnoticed.
    MWLL is what PC gaming is all about.

  13. The Dark One says:

    I prefer a site like Techreport for graphics card reviews. They chart cards based on their 99th percentage frame time, not just their average frame rate, which helps show which cards have stuttering issues in which games. They also measure sound levels and power consumption at both idle and full load and provide a handy scatter plot of price/performance.

    While it’s fun to see what a card is capable of at 4k resolution, most of Eurogamer’s test scenarios showed all the cards below an acceptable frame rate, which isn’t very useful for anyone shopping for a new one.

    • Heighnub says:

      Agreed, I find the Eurogamer tech articles subpar. I’d suggest a PC hardware review site like Techreport or Anandtech where you can discover performance per watt, performance per dollar, and
      comparisons with cards from both manufacturers at similar price points as well as cheaper cards, etc.
      Techreport also have their excellent frame time analysis.

  14. dahools says:

    Jim if your looking at a 780 as your next gfx card you must either have buckets of money to throw away or demand every last pixel and frame possible. Even that review states a 7950 at sub 200 would be some excellent value, and a 7870xt (tahiti le) is just that and at sub £170 they are epic value! If someone thinks there is a better value card feel free to enlighten me.
    http://www.dabs.com/products/best-value-vtx3d-amd-radeon-7870-hd-2gb-pci-express-3-0-hdmi-black-8G9Q.html?refs=469930000&src=2
    That is the one I am eyeing up but others are available someone mentioned a power colour one for a similar price but was out of stock.

    • Stochastic says:

      The GTX 770 is situated a little more sensibly on the price/performance curve relative to the GTX 780. But yes, AMD now has some great offerings when you factor in their game bundles.

      • dahools says:

        I had forgot about the game bundles. But as a games site reporter/publisher i’m pretty sure the bundles would have little sway in the overall say. But to you and me yes they only increase the value further.

    • MattM says:

      I’ll debate. The 7950 and 7870 are good values and can play pretty much all titles at moderate settings, but that doesn’t make getting a better card a waste of money. If you claimed that spending more than ~$220 on a gaming cpu (the i5-4760k w/OC) wouldn’t offer much improvement, I would agree. There are not many cases where a more powerful cpu would offer increased framerates and many of those cases are in games where you already have 100+ fps. However the same isn’t true with GPUs. There are plenty of titles where playing at high settings/1080p/60fps requires more than a 7870 or 7950.
      The 780 does seem a bit overpriced relative to the 770 though. There is a big price difference going from $400 to $650 but the 780 is only about %20 faster. If you wanted more gpu than the 770 or 7970ghz then you might consider getting two cards for SLI.

      • dahools says:

        I agree with what you say on cpu’s for gaming top of the range is unnecessary. On gfx card’s though unless you want sick resolutions on 27″ + displays I dont currently think nvidia is worth it. I can only talk in pounds im not looking up US prices but the cheapest 770 is 8 pounds cheaper than 2 of those 7870xt’s (£326 or £334 for the 2 amd cards.) Then I can only assume performance as I cant find any 7870xt xfire scores but that would blow the 770 out of the water. (It will be close maybe slightly better than 7950 xfire scores). Then as reminded above there’s the game bundles too. 3 AAA games and 3 to sell from the second card so the xfire setup could even work out cheaper.

        Only down sides are power and noise really. The nV cards are more powerful individually but they are priced so rediculously high that I dont know how anyone can recommend them at the moment.

    • F3ck says:

      With my 965BE oc’d to 3.8ghz and 7870 (Msi Twin Frozr) @ 1100mhz Metro:LL looks almost as good as it does on my friend’s i7/680gtx…

      …just sayin’.

      There’s hundreds of dollars between our rigs, but only a few fps.

  15. Mario Figueiredo says:

    “If we ignore Microsoft’s terrible marketing and judge the Xbox One objectively, it’s a fine system – a home entertainment system built for the future that should provide an unparalleled user experience”

    Let’s look at the Xbox One objectively: built for the future and provides an unparalleled experience. Mr. Matt Burns of TechCrunch, sir, excuse me, objectively you don’t know the meaning of the word.

    • Stochastic says:

      Honestly I think the only edge the Xbox One has over the PS4 at this point is the number of exclusives. But who knows, there’s still a lot we don’t know about both systems.

      • Mario Figueiredo says:

        The point is that it could be better than the PS4, but objectivity would still not be the idea to use when describing the Xbox One as offering “unparalleled user experience”. That’s the meaningless wording we came to expect from marketing departments.

        • c-Row says:

          Well, “unparalleled” doesn’t necessarily imply “good”, so they might be right after all.

  16. dagudman says:

    The problem with hawken is that mech design doesn’t mean anything at all. It’s not like you can do leg or hand or torso or head damage, so there is no point of making mech design besides for making them look cooler. All that matters is the weapons and damage they deal. It would have been much better if there was a more tactical side to it. Do you really want to destroy a mech, or just make is so that it moves really slowly and cannot get in time to another place on the map to help it’s team? Sadly there is none of that…

  17. newprince says:

    Um, I’m not sure what that article is referring to when it says the XBone was built with an eye toward the future. Unless they’re talking about the utterly nonsensical “cloud computing” that MS claims improves the console by a factor of 3. But then, asked for actual examples, talks about like… rendering the sky as you’re playing. The cloud!

    • LionsPhil says:

      It’s a vision of the future insofar as the future depends on permission from Someone Else’s Server to do anything.

    • dahools says:

      Sony also confirmed the ps4 can do that too if the devs choose to take advantage of it. So thats not an xbone exclusive feature offloading to the cloud.

  18. strangeloup says:

    The mention of WWI style mechs in Hawken (which I’ve admittedly not played) reminded me of a weird alternate-history mech strategy game on the PS2, Ring of Red. It was a lot of fun, mostly because the mechs weren’t these all-powerful monstrosities, but more like walking tanks that could only battle for a couple of minutes at a time before needing to be refueled.

    The translation was a bit wonky but otherwise it was neato.

  19. eclipse mattaru says:

    Until they’re coming up with Oni’s sequel/remake, Bungie can fuck right the fuck off for all I care.

  20. F3ck says:

    I don’t quite get the virtue of the XBone abuse/love article…vacillating from these already ubiquitous criticisms (always watching, region nightmares, etc) to the ambiguous praise for it (i.e., being a “portal to your Windows ecosystem”) makes the piece seem somewhat schizophrenic.

    Am I missing the point of something [again]?

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      He’s trying so hard to look impartial it becomes awkward. As in, “I consider all of his points valid. But I don’t agree with him.”

      The article author is probably someone who hasn’t made up their mind yet. You can safely agree you haven’t missed any point, because there was no point in that article.

  21. Sinomatic says:

    Lovely music choice this week. After the Planetside Call to Arms madness, this is exactly the sort of thing I needed to hear.

  22. fitzroy_doll says:

    Ma.k kits: http://www.q-net.net.au/~nipngnwm/nittokits.html I always thought these should make it into a game.

  23. Buzko says:

    You know what I want? A list of spammer accounts on RPS that we can publicly share and update. Maybe restrict edit access to those whose accounts are over a certain age to avoid griefing nonsense. Or maybe if the comments software autoblocked people who were blocked by over a certain percentage of the readership?